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
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:
Continuous development of the knowledge and skills of the bank’s frontline staff responsible for customer service
Improvement of the quality of services provided in remote channels
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:
Modernisation and development of the bank’s network of ATMs and CDMs.
Development of self-service zones.
Increase in the number of certified barrier-free branches.
Extending the range of contactless payments with a mobile phone to include a virtual credit card.
Logging on to the mobile banking system based on the user’s fingerprint (Touch ID).
Extending the Online Advisor’s functionality to include a remote credit process handled during a single contact with the customer.
Implementation of convenient Tele-Click sales processes in the Contact Center under which the customer can sign off product agreements remotely via BZWBK24 internet, without a need to visit the branch.
Implementation of the Central Account Information management process and improvements in the debt collection and inheritance procedures.
Centralised complaint management process.
Centralised services launched in 2016:
Central Account Information – access to information about the accounts of dead customers or unclaimed accounts of individual customers
Debt collection attachments – sending text messages to customers with information about the receipt of an attachment order and freezing one or more accounts
Cancelled documents – forwarding data to the Cancelled Documents system (the security and timeliness of the process has been confirmed in the Report of the Banking Law and Information Centre).
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:
Personally, at the bank’s branches
Remotely, via the online banking system or using a complaint form on the bank’s website.
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:
Reduction of the waiting time for the credit decision from 8 to 2 days
Departure from the paper-based process and acceptance of scanned documents
More effective sales processes and cooperation with network brokers
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.
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
dual function machines (including 572 ATM/CDMs and 112 cash recyclers)
machines with contactless readers
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:
selling and managing banking products via telephone and internet in relationships with personal customers
providing support to internal customers over the telephone
monitoring overdue payments via the telephone.
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
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.
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.
Last year, each of our branches was visited by mystery shoppers 20 times on average.
Across the entire organisation, we recorded an annual growth in compliance with the customer service standards by 16 p.p.
The surveys covered personal accounts, credit cards, cash loans and business accounts.
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.
As a result of the customer surveys regularly conducted in recent years, we have implemented numerous improvements suggested by the respondents, including:
A simplified procedure of logging on to BZWBK24 internet and addition of the ‘Customer service’ tab.
Increased range of products and services offered in BZWBK24 mobile, including the possibility to check the balance of available funds prior to logging on to the application, ordering and paying for a taxi and money transfers to the Social Security Fund and Tax Office.
Launching a helpline for customers from the SME sector, simplifying the IVR and reducing the time of waiting for connection with the advisor.
Launching the ‘Online advisor’ service for customers with hearing impairment.
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
The role of an advisor who helps to analyse and resolve the overdue payment issue
Telephone monitoring and regular, partner communication with customers
Agreeing the terms of overdue debt repayment with a view to minimising the risk of default in the future.
Identification of the customer problems and needs at an early stage of the process to facilitate the choice and implementation of the best solution in a given situation
We check whether our advisors meet the customer expectations by measuring the quality of their services. One of the tools we use is an automated telephone survey prepared jointly with the Debt Restructuring and Asset Management Area. The survey is carried out directly after the conversation with an advisor. The customers are asked to evaluate the degree of the advisor’s friendliness, politeness and engagement on a scale of 1 (least satisfied) to 7 (most satisfied).
During a period of three months, we invited over 12,000 customers to take part in a short survey. The response rate was 30% and the customer satisfaction index SAT-NET reached the level of 77%.
Debt restructuring made easier
In 2016, the SME and Retail Debt Restructuring Department implemented a new solution to support customers in the repayment of overdue debt. An application for the restructuring of debt can now be filed without leaving home. All you need to do is:
enter the bank’s website and find the tab ‘Problems with timely loan repayment’
download the application form
complete the application and send it by electronic or traditional mail
The electronic application gives the customer an opportunity to get in touch directly with the Restructuring Department which offers expert advice in difficult situations.
Self-management of overdue payments
In the event of a delay in loan repayment, the customer can declare the date on which he/she repays the overdue installment via BZWBK24 internet, instead of waiting for a contact from the bank. Two solutions are offered in general:
The customer’s declaration to repay the overdue amount within 7 days.
Scheduling a conversation with the bank advisor at a time convenient to the customer to agree the new repayment date.
In the future we are planning to extend the scope of the available services to include interactive communication (text messages and emails) and to launch a platform supporting the management and repayment of overdue debt.
Borrower Support Fund
In 2016, a law was passed on support to borrowers with home loans who due to a difficult financial situation are not able repay their loans regularly. The aid is provided by Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego through the Borrower Support Fund. Bank Zachodni WBK signed an agreement with BGK and began offering repayable financial aid.
How does it work?
The aid consists in subsidising the monthly repayment of the loan in the maximum amount of PLN 1,500 for a period not longer than 18 months.
The borrower repays the aid after two years of a grace period, over a maximum time of 8 years, in equal, interest-free instalments.
Borrowers with mortgage loans denominated in Swiss francs taken out from our bank can benefit from the following solutions:
Factoring in the negative LIBOR CHF rate.
Applying a reduced CHF FX spread (2%).
Free of charge, temporary lowering of the loan repayment instalments, for instance, by offering a grace period in the repayment of the loan principal or extension of the repayment period
Conversion of the loan currency into PLN at the customer’s request, at the average exchange rate published by the National Bank of Poland without any extra charges.
Simplified procedure of selling the mortgaged property and transferring the loan security to the new property purchased
Repayable financial aid available from the Borrower Support Fund (established on February 19, 2016 pursuant to the Act of October 9, 2015 on the support of borrowers with home loans who are in a difficult financial situation).
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:
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)
local projects carried out by the certified branches in partnership with persons with disabilities and seniors
branches received accessibility certificates awarded by an independent expert (TUS Foundation)
branches - audits of architectural accessibility
branches with an audio induction loop (hearing aid system)
new advertising videos with audio description and translation into the Polish Sign Language
interactions in the Polish Sign Language via the Online Advisor service (+ 117%)
the first recruitment campaign in the Polish Sign Language executed on Facebook
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.
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.
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.
Contact Centre channels
(Telephone, Video, Chat, Audio, Email, Contact form, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, More customers using remote services)
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.
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)
All digital customers
Customers using mobile banking only
Number of transactions in BZWBK24 mobile
Number of transactions in BZWBK24 internet
Share of online banking in the number of credit products sold by the bank (4Q)