ANZ customer experienceCustomer experience is at the heart of the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group's brand promise. Its strategy is to make banking easier and put customers in control. The winners of Loyalty360’s CX 360-Degree Award achieved this by building the capabilities to deliver a more insightful and connected experience for customers at each touch point. The result is improved brand loyalty from customers who value and trust their banks.

ANZ’s reach is vast. With more than 47,000 employees, ANZ provides banking and financial services to eight million personal and business customers in 33 markets globally. Its retail banking operation in Australia offers more than 750 branches, 2,750 ATMs, a 24-hour contact center, along with online and mobile banking applications throughout Australia.

“Our No. 1 priority is our customer,” Annette Sloan, ANZ’s Program Director of Simpler Banking, said during a session titled, “Case Study: How ANZ Tapped Real-Time Customer Feedback to Implement Changes that Recovered Billons in Lost Loans,” held last week at Loyalty360’s 4th Annual Engagement & Experience Expo in Dallas, Texas. “Our mission is to create a customer experience with impact by being easy to do business with, providing insightful communication, and by being well-connected with our customers.” 

But successfully engaging with its customers hasn’t always been easy. In 2011, ANZ noticed a downturn in sales in the first quarter. To make matters worse, the bank faced a mortgage filing compliance issue when an internal audit revealed failure points.

Sloan was tasked to spearhead the initiative to improve the outlook that, for the first time in several years, looked challenging and difficult for ANZ.

“We knew we needed to do something and decided to center the work around the customer experience,” she said.

ANZ’s refined customer experience strategy started with 130 face-to-face customer interviews and customer research around 700,000 lines of data. The bank also arranged a three-day intensive workshop with 70 ANZ representatives from a cross-section of the company and set aside organizational hierarchy. It also invited representatives from partnering organizations as well as customers, who represented all of the bank’s personas and channels.

“We spent three days mapping out the customer experience with senior leaders,” said Sloan. “And they promised they’d fix what was broken.”

The Building Blocks to ANZ’s CX Transformation

Four priorities drive this goal to be a customer service leader, the first of which is to improve its customers’ experiences by making interactions easier. A significant number of improvements are informed by ANZ’s Banking on Australia strategy that includes increased options for customers to manage their banking via digital channels while ensuring seamless interaction with other channels.

From the workshops, ANZ identified 21 building blocks to achieve this, one being to focus on customer metrics and another to establish real-time communication with mortgage applicants throughout the process. The bank also took steps to improve accountability within the bank and a process to resolve complaints quickly.

ANZ partnered with a third party to implement its feedback program, and used a pilot test on four approaches with customers, lenders, and sales leaders. The pilot saw an increase in application conversion by up to 10%, achieving a break-even point within a year, and an NPS lift of 11 points. Results also showed asking for and acting on feedback improves customers’ experiences and achieves commercial outcomes, hence ANZ’s decision to roll out the program to more than 3,500 ANZ bankers.

Today at ANZ, lenders know surveying their customers increases their service accountability. They’ve also learned that real-time interventions stop small problems from becoming much bigger ones later in the cycle. And lastly, real-time insights have added a new layer of effectiveness to ground coaching conversations.

Communication is paramount at ANZ, and once the bank implemented changes in its communication strategy, it found a significant increase in customer satisfaction with approval ratings close to 82%. Today, for the home loan application process, lenders are alerted by email if more action is required. If so, lenders must call customers to resolve their issue or maintain their business.

What’s more, ANZ’s communication guidelines contain a sundown clause; lenders are required to contact customers as soon as possible - at the latest by the end of the day on which the feedback was received.

“It’s an ongoing process to be the best connected, most respected bank in APAC,” said Sloan. “But every day ANZ’s regional strategy is consistently delivering improvements in business growth and financial performance.”

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