2016 Corporate Social Responsibility Report

  • Customer

  • Employee

  • Society

  • Shareholder

A promotional landing page with additional featured content, opens in a new tab

Customer satisfaction

The satisfaction of our customers and the high customer service standards are a priority to us.

Service quality

The key elements of our quality management system include:

  • Continuous measurement of our customers’ expectations and opinions
  • Monitoring of the customer service quality and introducing improvements
  • Complaint management
  • Customer experience management
  • Barrier-free Service programme which ensures, convenient, quality service to customers with all kinds of special needs

Our key objectives in the customer service area include:

The responsibility for the development of employee competences rests with the group of Customer Relationship Managers who provide support to the network of branches in this regard. Our efforts aimed at improvement of remote channel services are coordinated by managers and experts responsible for the quality of service in the respective units.

The bank manages the customer experience at all stages of the relationship, from the first contact, through the choice and purchase of products and transactional services (at the branch and via self-service solutions), up to and including the complaint management process. In 2016, we carried out a number of initiatives in response to the identified needs of our customers:

Practice Makes Perfect

In 2016, an educational programme called ‘Practice Makes Perfect’ for the employees of the branch network was launched. Its purpose is to improve the advisors’ skills in handling sales conversations and to enhance the competitions of the managerial staff in the area of quality management and providing constructive feedback. The PMP programme and training courses teaching how to simplify the language in communication with customers have also been rolled out to the Contact Center.

We excel our retail customer services processes

  • Goals in 2016

    • Implementation of account maintenance support processes offered by telephone
    • Shortening the time of waiting for a connection with the advisor
    • Execution of after-sales instructions within the agreed timeframes
    • Personalised approach to customers: instant execution of instructions at the customer’s special request
    • Contacting customers by phone to inform them about the bank’s actions and decisions
    • Comprehensive support to after-sales instructions placed in branches
  • What has been achieved?

    • Quick response to customers’ needs
    • Higher satisfaction with services provided over the telephone
    • 100% increase in the number of after-sales instructions versus 2015
    • Comprehensive telephone support to all account management processes
    • Execution time consistent with the information provided to customers
    • Personalised approach – instructions executed within a timeframe agreed with the customer
    • Information about the current status of after-sales orders provided to branch staff (return email)

Complaints in many ways

The complaint management process in place in the bank meets all regulatory requirements and is constantly improved to make it more effective and more aligned with customer expectations. Customers can file complaints through many channels:

The customer chooses the channel through which the answer will be provided (a letter, text message or the online banking system). The language of the answer must be simple and easy to understand. More than 50% of complaints are evaluated within 3 business days, which greatly improves the customer satisfaction ratios.

What did we change in 2016?

  • We significantly reduced the time of the complaint management process
  • We adopted the principle of using simple and easy to understand language
  • We started sending small gadgets to customers whom we owe an apology

More effective cooperation with network brokers

In 2016, we exceeded by far the threshold of 1 billion positive mortgage loan decisions issued in the mortgage brokerage channel. In order to enhance the customer service standards and streamline the processes, we offered an online solution (interactive form) and observed the following advantages:

In 2017 we are planning to launch a platform for network brokers through which the brokers will be able to receive a preliminary mortgage sanction decision online. The implementation of the project will help us align the process to the requirements of the new mortgage law which is about to be passed and will significantly improve our competitive position due to a quick and transparent process.

Popular self-service

In 2016, we continued to develop our self-service channels, in accordance with the identified customer preferences. Our activities included further development of the bank’s network of ATMs and CDMs through upgrading the functionalities of the existing machines or installing new dual-function machines. We also made available to customers the first cash recyclers, machines with a closed cash handling system which dispense the money earlier deposited by other customers.

Nearly 70% of customers choose cash deposit machines instead of traditional cash desks at bank branches. In March 2017, the value of cash deposits hit the record-high level of PLN 1 billion.

Self-service network in 2016

  • nearly 1,750


  • 703


  • 684

    dual function machines (including 572 ATM/CDMs and 112 cash recyclers)

  • 140

    machines with contactless readers

  • 259

    new CDMs installed, including 112 cash recyclers

Certified telephone service centre

Bank Zachodni WBK, as the first financial institution in Poland, received a prestigious certificate of conformance with the EN 15838 standard setting the requirements for telephone service centres, covering:

The European norm EN 15838 is a quality standard initiated by the European Commission in response to complaints of customers dissatisfied with the services provided by call centres, due to unclear messages, long waiting time to get through to a consultant, receiving incorrect information, being referred to other persons many times and being treated in an impolite and unfriendly way. The standard sets forth the requirements concerning the skills and competences of the consultants, basic recruitment principles, the management model and the workplace standards. It also includes a set of mandatory KPIs measuring the efficiency of the consultants and processes and the quality of the contacts and infrastructure.

Listening to the voice of the customer

Opinions of our customers are an invaluable source of ideas for improvements and new solutions to us. One of the ways in which we learn about our customers’ opinions has been the customer satisfaction survey conducted regularly since 2014.

As part of the customer satisfaction survey, we have interviewed a quarter of million customers to date.

The adopted customer satisfaction measurement methodology is consistent with the practice applied across the Santander Group, so that we can compare the results between countries and share proven solutions.

  • In 2016, we carried out more than 70,000 interviews with the bank’s customers within the framework of 22 research modules.
  • We use different methods of collecting customer opinions – in addition to telephone and online interviews, in 2016 we started using text messages as the new survey format and 1,800 customers shared their opinions with us in that way.
  • We keep monitoring the level of our customers’ satisfaction and the purpose of the actions taken by the bank is to improve it continuously.

The percentage share of ”entirely satisfied customers”

Visit at a branch Online banking Mobile banking Incoming calls ATMs CDMs
4Q 2015 77% 49% 52% 69% 55% 70%
4Q 2016 79% 53% 56% 77% 64% 70%
Improvement 2% 4% 4% 8% 9% none

NPS studies

In 2016, we extended the scope of our customer satisfaction research based on the Net Promoter Score (NPS) methodology which examines the likelihood of the bank’s recommendation by its customers. Based on the metric, we want to plan, develop and intensify our activities aimed at increasing the satisfaction of our existing and future customers.

Our focus on customer opinions and needs is also evident in two other projects implemented in the bank: designing the Customer Journey and using the design thinking methodology in the development of new products and services based on the customer’s real needs.

Mystery shopping

We regularly monitor the degree of implementation of the customer service quality standards in the daily practices of our branches and partner outlets using the Mystery Shopping method.

Survey results

The information about the results of the surveys carried out in the bank is published on the Customer Satisfaction, link otwiera się w nowym oknie website. The site was designed in consultation with our customers who made suggestions regarding its architecture and layout.

Selected solutions which best illustrate the idea and the effects of using the information gathered during customer satisfaction surveys are presented in a series of videos entitled ”We build our bank together” made available on the YouTube channel of Bank Zachodni WBK., link otwiera się w nowym oknie

As a result of the customer surveys regularly conducted in recent years, we have implemented numerous improvements suggested by the respondents, including:

Corporate customers’ opinions

We survey corporate customers to learn about their opinions in many ways:

  • A survey carried out by the Business and Corporate Banking Division in partnership with the company called Deep-Insight on a representative sample of corporate customers from all over Poland.

    The purpose of the survey is to support the comprehensive approach to the Management of the Customer Relationship Quality (CRQ™). We focus on such aspects as the mutual trust in our business relationships, engagement in the two-way relations and customer satisfaction. We enquire about business solutions and the overall customer experience in relation with the bank and with regard to the quality of the provided services.

  • A regular, annual survey carried out by GFK Polonia on a group of nearly 500 corporate customers

    The study focuses on processes, products and channels of contact with the customers. It has a form of a telephone interview during which we ask questions about the quality of the product offer, relationship with the advisor and the branch, the process of applying for financing and the performance of the iBiznes24. electronic banking platform. The results of the survey help to improve the quality of the provided services and the efficiency of the processes and to fulfil the customers’ expectations regarding numerous channels of access to our bank.

The results of the survey are analysed in detail by the management of the Business and Corporate Banking Division, Bankers, Product Managers and the operating teams.

Support to customers in a difficult situation

According to statistics, one in five customers of the bank have problems with timely repayment of their obligations towards the bank at least once. The role of the Difficult Loans Monitoring and Support Office is to monitor overdue payments at an early stage, both in the case of retail customers and SMEs. The Office makes use of convenient, multi-channel contact methods, including telephone, text messages, and BZWBK24 internet.

Difficult Loans Monitoring and Support Office

Service accessibility

One of our key responsibilities is to increase the accessibility of banking services. Accessibility is a broad concept to us. One of its dimensions is to ensure the possibility of direct contact with the bank, not only in large cities. In 2016, 451 outlets of our bank (60.29%) were located in small towns and villages. Access to the services provided by BZ WBK Leasing is guaranteed by a network of nearly 400 mobile advisors who visit SME customers on their premises all over Poland.

Another dimension of accessibility which we consider very important is adapting our bank to the needs of persons with different disabilities. Since 2010, we have been developing a programme called “Barrier-free Service” which is unique in the financial sector.

Barrier-free service in 2016:

  • 1/4

    of our bank branches (153 outlets) are adapted to the needs of persons with different disabilities

  • more than 1,235

    employees of our bank have been trained in the service of customers with disabilities (traditional training co-delivered by trainers with disabilities and e-learning courses)

  • 21

    local projects carried out by the certified branches in partnership with persons with disabilities and seniors

  • 19

    branches received accessibility certificates awarded by an independent expert (TUS Foundation)

  • in 20

    branches - audits of architectural accessibility

  • 231

    Talking ATMs

  • 20

    branches with an audio induction loop (hearing aid system)

  • 11

    new advertising videos with audio description and translation into the Polish Sign Language

  • 2,426

    interactions in the Polish Sign Language via the Online Advisor service (+ 117%)

  • the first recruitment campaign in the Polish Sign Language executed on Facebook

Barrier-free branches

Since 2014, acting in partnership with the TUS Foundation, we have been evaluating architectural accessibility of the bank’s branches from the point of view of persons with disabilities, in accordance with the methodology published on niepełnosprawnik.pl. The employees of our certified branches undergo training in the service of customers with special needs delivered by trainers with disabilities. The training is organised by the Barrier-free Poland Foundation. The certification process covers branches located all over Poland.

Customer service in the Polish Sign Language and special solutions for customers with hearing impairment

In September 2014, as the first Polish bank, we launched a video chat service in the Polish Sign Language staffed by the bank’s Contact Center personnel. At the end of June 2015, the functionality was made available as part of the Online Advisor service on BZWBK24 Internet and mobile platforms. The service can be accessed using mobile devices available in all branches of our bank. Thanks to the launch of the Online Advisor Service in the Polish Sign Language, persons with hearing impairment can manage their finance on their own and have direct contact with the bank’s advisor.

Talking ATMs

Our ATMs are adapted to the needs of people who are blind or partially blind, as they are equipped with a headphone jack. Thanks to the voice instructions, customers can execute basic operations on their own: withdraw any amount of cash, activate a new card or change the PIN. The accessibility of our ATMs is evidenced by the Certificate of the Polish Association of the Blind. In 2016, we also began to work on the development of a mobile BZWBK24 application for persons with visual impairment.

Barrier-free communications

Bank Zachodni WBK, as the first bank in Poland, decided to adapt its advertising and educational communication to the needs of customers with visual impairment (audio description prepared in partnership with the Katarynka Foundation) and hearing impairment (subtitles, translation into the Polish Sign Language prepared in cooperation with Mr. Tomasz Smakowski).

Audio induction loops at branches

In the second half of 2016, we entered into partnership with Fado Social Cooperative. In January 2017, as the first Polish bank, we implemented in the selected branches a system of customer service with the use of audio induction loops. The solution improves the comfort and the standard of services provided to people with hearing impairment. The list of branches equipped with the induction loop is available at www.bzwbk.pl/ms/obb/petle-indukcyjne.html link otwiera się w nowym oknie.

The Barrier-free Service programme implemented by Bank Zachodni WBK was the silver medalist of the Polish Project Excellence Awards 2016. The competition organised by the International Project Management Association (IPMA) Poland recognises good practices in project management, awards the best solutions and promotes the competencies of the companies which implement them. The submissions of the participants are evaluated against the international Project Excellence standard, both in terms of the project execution standards and its ultimate outcomes.

More information about the Barrier-free Service programme, including a complete list of branches and ATMs adapted to the special needs of persons with disabilities can be found HERE., link otwiera się w nowym oknie

Multichannel approach and digitalisation

One of the strategic activity areas of Bank Zachodni WBK is the digital transformation process. Our customers more and more often use remote contact channels and the bank responds to their preferences by modifying its service model. We have been actively increasing the range of remote services available, expanding our online platform and mobile banking application and focusing on innovations. In the near future we will implement the biometric facial recognition system.

Many channels at a time

One of the programmes currently implemented in our bank is called “Multichannel 1”. Its purpose is to ensure the dynamic development of remote distribution channels, service standards and relationships with customers.

  • Online banking

  • Mobile banking

  • Contact Centre channels

    (Telephone, Video, Chat, Audio, Email, Contact form, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, More customers using remote services)

Programme objectives:

  • Highest remote service quality standards
  • Continuous focus on the safety of electronic banking services
  • Implementation of solutions which make customers’ life easier
  • Development and distribution of innovative technological solutions
  • Optimisation of processes and competence building in the Contact Centre
  • Implementation and continuous improvement of sales and after-sales processes in remote channels
  • Further development of mobile payments

The number of video, audio and chat contacts is growing dynamically.

In response to the high interest of our customers we are actively developing the Online Advisor service (particularly in the video channel). For the same reason, we make the service available to new categories of customers. Since March 2016, SME customers have been able to contact our Online Advisors.

Our achievements

  • We received the titles of the Institution of 2016 in the category of Best Service Quality in Remote Channels awarded by mojebankowanie.pl

  • BZWBK24 mobile application once again made it to the top three innovative banking mobile applications in Europe! For the second consecutive year, the international research and consulting company Forrester Research considered BZWBK24 mobile the best application in Poland and the third best application in Europe selected from the platforms of 11 largest banks.

  • The employees of Bank Zachodni WBK set the record in the category ”Most people making BLIK money transfers simultaneously”.

  • In March 2017, BZWBK24 mobile application received a special award in the competition Mobile Trends Awards 2016 for getting the highest number of Internet users’ votes for the best mobile application.

Share of online banking in the number of credit products sold by the bank (4Q)

2015 2016
All digital customers 1,884,650 1,968,761
Mobile customers 666,278 863,938
Customers using mobile banking only 65,189 113,861
Number of transactions in BZWBK24 mobile 6,724,469 13,314,554
Number of transactions in BZWBK24 internet 145,798,365 161,585,790
Share of online banking in the number of credit products sold by the bank (4Q) 26% 38%