The Royal Commission into Australia's premier financial institutions has revealed the deviant practices and products that has corroded the trust of banking customers in recent history. What is the root of the problem, how have we arrived at this junction where a large scale investigation, needling the corporate environment, is needed to restore the Australia's faith in the banks. The deterioration of corporate culture is something not well understood that appears to have jettisoned the demise of the relationship between financial institutions around Australia and their customers.
What is corporate culture though and what part does it play.
Sean asked Barry Urquhart from Marketing Focus on the Triple M Esperance Breakfast Show.
'It is really the belief system, the driving force of an organisation that gives its purpose. To a large extent you can humanize business's and a corporate culture is the personality of that business. It can be friendly, it can be efficient, it can be gracious, it can be service orientated or it can be malicious...'
Mr. Urquhart says that it is the lack of customer focus in favour of profits and executive bonuses that has caused the corruption of the banks reputation. Despite a formal commitment to their clients on paper, in practice the company is driven by costs and revenue as opposed to the customer satisfaction. Barry again.
'They (customers) are the very core, the eccentricity to their (the businesses) very being, they should be in the centre of it so rather than have hierarchy and bureaucracy and process, overwhelming a positive, neutrally rewarding relationship, they should place the customer in the middle and build the structure around it.'
The latest research shows that the consensus between everyday Australian's is that their attitude towards the banks can be summed up in a simple phrase... 'The banks are bastards!'
This has translated to Aussies losing loyalty in the institutions with an average Australian having 3.8 financial accounts to 3.1 financial institutions, obviously spreading the love.
To fix the problem, Barry says it's simple.
'(financial institutions) need more personal relationships, more trust and integrate and interaction, that's the true measure of what we need to do. The banks and the banks managers there measure of performance is not sitting in the office, in central Perth, working on a computer sending out text messages. It's got to be that they've got to be out in the field.'
Still, the banks have a long way to go...
Barry: "With the banks, relationships have been put to the side and its now more about transaction by transaction. The banks know that that's a very expensive, fractured inconsistent manner in which to establish relationships.'
For the full chat that Sean had with Barry please consult the Catch Up link below...