Friday, 15 May 2015

“Service Revolution” Drives Customer Growth at Westpac

In the digitalised world we are living in today, we can definitely see a shift to more digitalised platforms in which more powerful and newer technologies are changing the way consumers live their lives. It is important that companies are taking hold of this shift by implementing more customer-centred strategies to ensure their position within the marketplace. With this being said, the expectation of services has increased and particularly been felt within the baking sector. Consumers are expecting things to be much quicker, more seamless, easier and more personalised.

The Westpac Banking Group has realised the changing needs of their consumers and the need for their company to be radically simplified, particularly through the compression of their many processes into world-class digital platforms. In simpler terms, Westpac is reinventing their brand network along with their customer experience by simplifying their products and processes.

The service focused strategy Westpac has implemented has been reflected in a growth in customer numbers, high customer satisfaction among both consumer and business customers, and improved growth and increased return. 

According to the earning results that were released at the beginning of May, the Westpac banking group made a large $84 million dollars from digital sales in the financial first half of 2015. To put it in perspective, digital sales currently makes up 13.3 per cent of total retail sales, including digital transactions and online loans. The bank is continuing to move away from manual transactions, such as phone services, to online and smart ATM’s.

Westpac has revealed it has over 4 million digital customers, proving to be an increase from the 3.97 million in the second half of 2014. 3.1 million consumers have migrated to the banks online banking platform, Westpac Live, while 300,000 businesses were migrated to the platform.

What strategies have Westpac implemented that is driving their consumer growth?

Firstly, the banking giant has initiated and installed video conferencing services to their Australian branches in the hope of improving the services available to their customers. Through the use of technology, particularly their online lending application called LOLA, Westpac has made $30 billion dollars worth of pre-approved lending available to their SME customers. 

The next stage of Westpac’s digital transformation is a customer service hub that will aim to improve efficiency and support the service focused strategy. Westpac’s CEO, Brian Hartzer, also mentioned the bank’s Asian digital transformation. “We have completed technology foundations including global trade platform and core banking systems. We are now offering faster end-to-end processing,” he said. Westpac is building capabilities and capacity in Asia to “seamlessly connect” its customers to the increasing flows of global trade, capital and people between A/NZ and Asia.

I am sure from this we can see and will continue to see many companies like Westpac implement digital platforms and services within their business strategy to ensure both their position within the market and to ensure that there is a drive within consumer growth.

Lauren Musat
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

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