Australian Banks Disconnected from Small Business Customers


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A recent Australian study has highlighted an interesting disconnect between Australia’s four largest banks and the engine room of the Australian economy – small business.

What’s interesting about the study is the gap between what the banks feel they are doing and delivering (highly valuable engagement, expert advice, timely and efficient service) and what small business customers feel they are getting (products shoved down their throat, poor service etc).

A quote from the author really sums up the challenge:

“One of the great problems that customers have is product flogging; it really irritates people,” Freeman says.

“Until one of the banks breaks the mould, they’ll probably continue to operate as they do now: focused on shareholder returns, income and bonuses.”

Ian Freeman, Non Executive Management

So does this disconnect represent a market opportunity for Australian Mutuals? I think so. Mutuals are focused on member needs and this attitudinal difference is key. This YouTube video from QueenslandersCU explains this in simple terms:

Given most Mutuals have tight budgets and limited resources, one key way Mutuals can engage with small business owners is via the use of social media. For Mutuals, social media is an extension of what they do naturally anyway – it’s part of their culture.

I’m seeing more and more examples of Mutuals thinking outside the square with how they use social media and in doing so, avoiding the campaign/brand/it’s all about me attitude of the banks (NAB’s break up “campaign” is a classic example). One example that I like is from Verity Credit Union in Seattle. Their Verity Mom program is an excellent example of a Mutual talking with a specific demographic.

verity mom blog from verity credit union

What can Australian Mutuals learn from this?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Mark Parker
Mark Parker is the founder of Smart Selling, and the specialist business unit – Smart Social Media. The core aim of both businesses is to help companies become better sales organisations by utilising the ideas, tools, and practices of Sales 2. and social media.


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