The banking sector is currently facing major challenges that are forcing the industry to transform how it operates. Following the financial crisis banks have to rebuild trust with customers, who are becoming more demanding, while satisfying greater regulatory scrutiny.
As a result, banks must communicate and interact with customers in new ways. In this challenging time Bank Austria needed to downsize and redesign its branch network, and decided to deepen engagement with its customers and employees through an online community.
Since early 2013, Bank Austria created two large online communities, providing its customers and employees with the chance to shape the bank’s future. Launched with the slogan "Bank mitdenken, Bank mitlenken” ("Let’s shape our bank together”) they provide a platform for customers and employees to contribute their opinions and ideas through discussions, surveys and quick polls on a wide range of topics.
The goal of the communities is to integrate feedback from both customers and employees, and use it to align the bank’s services more closely to customer’s needs and wants, while deepening engagement with employees.
Bank Austria needed to underpin its communities with the right platform. It needed to be easy to use and integrate easily with the existing IT infrastructure. Questback's EFS Feedback Technology Platform provides Bank Austria with all the functionality needed to build and manage a community – all within a single platform.
Both communities have increased engagement and provided effective insight that has helped drive change. In just over two years, a total of around 7,000 customers and employees are active in the two Bank Austria communities.
The unique way that Bank Austria has involved customers and employees within its transformation led it to winning its category at the prestigious 2013 European Change Communications Awards. It was recognized for its outstanding integration of customer and employee insight within the strategic change process, enabled by its online communities. By continually listening – and acting on – customer and employee feedback, the trust that is vital for long-term customer relationships has been strengthened.
Since 2005, Bank Austria has been a member of UniCredit, Europe’s largest banking group. It is one of Austria’s most financially sound banks, with total assets of € 195 billion in March 2015. Its nationwide Austrian network consists of 340 offices including 235 branches, employing around 9,450 employees. During the financial crisis, Bank Austria demonstrated its financial strength by being the only Austrian bank that did not require a capital injection from the government.
As a modern and dynamic full service bank, it offers customers access to international financial markets, along with retail banking operations. Bank Austria acts as the hub for UniCredit’s operations in Central and Eastern Europe, where the group is the clear market leader, operating over 2,400 branches in 14 countries.
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