Australia’s fifth-largest retail bank has more than 7,200 staff helping 1.6 million customers. So growing a customer-centric culture has been no mean feat! During my time spent with Ian Jackman, Head of Customer Voice at Bendigo Bank, he revealed that the company’s 158-year success is due to its vision – ‘To be Australia’s most customer-connected bank’ – and the process it uses to communicate that to clients, customers, employees and stakeholders. The company vision underpins every decision made from the senior leaders in head office through to the frontline employees in a branch. The vision provides clarity for employees – describing why the company is doing what it is doing – and highlights how central each and every customer is to every touchpoint of the organisation. Bendigo Bank is sure about its purpose and so are its employees. Hayley During, Preston Branch Manager, explains how the vision cascades down to the front line and is felt in the everyday practices of her team: “We make sure that ‘what we stand for’ is a constant conversation in our branch. We do this by talking about the customer experiences that we have as a team. In our sales meetings, which take place twice a week, we have a section of our meeting called ‘peak and pit’. A peak would be a really great story that is aligned to our purpose and customer values and a pit would be an experience that did not go so well. We share these ideas to discuss how to overcome them and more importantly to see if there is any further support needed from the team to avoid any future complaints or reoccurring issues. This is how our common belief of why we are here at the branch translates in every day for us”. Bendigo Bank leads a service culture with purpose. It lives by a vision that underpins every action it takes as an organisation. I have recently been inspired to look at my own company purpose more deeply and have taken my team on this journey. The clarity that has come from this concentrated activity has not only led me to be clear on purpose but has made decision making easier. We know why we do what we do and who we want to do it for. Believe in your brand, and your customers will believe in it too. To learn more about how to get clear on your company purpose and translate this through your culture for improved service, grab your copy of  Creating a Customer Service Mindset. Available now. Jaquie Scammell ‘Love Being in Service’

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