As the old phrase says, you go into a bank looking for your girlfriend and end up leaving with her mother. And while a likable bank may seem like the quintessential oxymoron, ASB is typically near the top of the customer satisfaction charts in comparison to the other big competitors. Now, following on from the first and fairly controversial incarnation of the big Creating Futures rebrand, it has taken a step in a slightly different direction with the launch its new 'Experience ASB' campaign over the weekend.
One of the criticisms levelled at Creating Futures was that it was too inward-looking. 'I'm' was all over the business cards, the ATMS and the door decals at many of the branches, which seemed at odds with the customer-centric focus it had embraced previously. Barbara Chapman, the new chief executive and marketing chief who presided over Goldstein admitted as much in an interview in NZ Marketing magazine, so, like ANZ's new campaign starring The Mentalist, ASB has decided to tap into the 'I know what you're thinking' approach and put the focus squarely back on the customers.
The broadcast, online and print campaign, which was overseen by the now departed Deborah Simpson, aims to give potential customers an opportunity to ‘test drive’ a range of ASB products and services before making the decision to change banks. And to help convince them, Dame Judi Dench has lent her dulcet tones to the campaign, which was created by Droga5 and filmed by award-winning Sweet Shop director Mark Lever.
“Switching banks can seem like a daunting and complex process for many people,” says Catherine McGrath, ASB’s executive general manager for strategy, payments and product. “It is also difficult to really understand what it is like to be a customer before taking the plunge. We are confident that potential customers will love banking with ASB, so we are giving them the chance to actively experience what it is like to be an ASB customer before committing to a long-term banking relationship.”
Kiwbank has been openly courting other banks' customers with its YouTube game Operation Easyswitch and ASB is doing the same by encouraging them to visit its new digital hub, www.experienceasb.co.nz, a full video-based site that lets them experience things like Future Finder, Save the Change, Internet Banking and the Facebook branch and, according to ASB, is one of the only sites of its kind in New Zealand.
At the same time, ASB has introduced ‘Personal Switchers’, who guides the switching customer through the transition process to ensure the experience is as seamless as possible.
ASB is also continuing to embrace social media as a customer service tool and is actively challenging site visitors to ask existing ASB customers about their experiences with the bank. The site will use a Twitter function to allow questions and answers to be displayed under the hashtag #askASB and ASB has also launched a new YouTube channel to distribute its content.