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Global Banking & Finance Review
What Financial Services can learn from Building Societies and their “Customer First” philosophy

Tom Huxtable, Director, Thunderhead 

Historically, building societies are seen as the epitomeof trust and empathy.

They’ve always had customers at the heart of their business, and it’s fair to say that they operate on a relatively simple and robust principal of co-operation – something all companies should aspire to.

The business world today is facing an interesting challenge when it comes to customer engagement. As customers expect more, they are demanding higher levels of service and value and, according to a recent PWC Banking and Retail 2020 report, their level of trust is currently at an all-time low.

Interestingly though, this presents an opportunity for some B2C financial services to get ahead. They have the chance to meet customer expectations by emulating the original Building Society ethos.

How can consumer financial services drive long-term relationships, build trust and attend to customer’s needs in an era of digital transformation?

Here’s some key considerations –

Stay relevant amongst competition

Customer engagement is a fundamental driver for all industries but it can be hard to achieve. It can also be hard to stand out and lead the way when it comes to best practice in personal finance.

All financial services face pressures from new, dynamic market entrants, who have clout and power thanks to their scale and reach. These companies have made it easy for customers to carry out simple transactions online and via apps – which gives an overall more effortless service – something consumers crave as it fits around their busy life. Our customer journey with these kind of companies – not always banking – is smooth, effortless and the brands are visibly working with us rather than causing obstacles. To replicate this, providers…

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Global Banking & Finance Review interviewed Mr. Chan Kok Choy, Executive Director and General Manager of Vattanac Bank on the occasion of their award-winning success for Best Customer Service Bank Cambodia 2018 and Best Bank for Premier Banking Cambodia 2018

Congratulations on your award-winning success. What initiatives do you feel have contributed to your success?

We have a strong service culture. Our senior management exemplify and take the lead in promoting this. Our efforts to instill the culture of service start from the recruitment of suitable staff, proper induction and training.

To enhance and strengthen our staff’s service attitude we conduct sharing meetings, training, and customer care campaigns.  We invested in an electronic feedback system that enables us to monitor customer’s reaction to our service and we do yearly customer service surveys.

In your opinion, what are the current challenges and opportunities facing the banking sector in Cambodia?

The banking sector in Cambodia is developing fast. New banks are opening with the rising confidence of the Cambodians in the banking system. Vattanac Bank is expanding too – opening new branches in the capital city and in key provinces and localities.

With the opening of competitor banks and branches, we need suitably qualified and experienced staff with the right attitude for service. Further, we need to invest substantially in IT and improving our delivery channels to meet the…

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