The Westpac Experience, Part 2

Westpac logo

I can’t log into St George Bank’s Internet banking right now — presumably it’s overloaded with people like me doing their 30 June thing. So instead I’ll continue the story of moving to Westpac.

After that initial meeting, the cards and PINs and other stuff duly arrived — and as usual the cards didn’t record my name correctly. Now I’m OK with that, having only one name is more than a little unusual. And besides, I’ve never found it useful getting angry when something’s a simple mistake. After all, you want people to help you, and berating them won’t increase their chances of fixing your problem.

So I popped into the local branch to get it sorted.

The staff were friendly and helpful. And they were confident they’d made the right changes to get it fixed. But alas, yesterday one of the replacement cards arrived, and it still had me listed as “Stilgherrian Stilgherrian”. Back to the drawing board…

The test now will be to see how Westpac deal with this. Stay tuned…

MYOB, you’re dumped! Hello NetAccounts

Saasu logoMarc Lehmann, you just scored your business Saasu a new customer because you commented on my gripes about MYOB. We’ve just made the decision to run my business with NetAccounts.

Marc, there was a steady flow of “Gee, wow!” moments as we looked at how NetAccounts might work for us — I’ll come back to that. But what really made the difference was how your company communicates. Especially when compared with MYOB…

  • MYOB only ever communicate with me to ask for money. Once, they were quite aggressive about it.
  • MYOB don’t reply to emails.
  • You have to wade through so much clutter to find what you want on their website.

Imagine MYOB were a person. You’d say something to them, but they’d never respond. Instead, they’d just be talking at you — either asking for money or telling you how good they were. Constantly.

You, on the other hand, joined a conversation about MYOB by talking about your product — but you added another insight and kept the conversation alive. “Well,” I thought, “if they’ve won an award and they’re clueful about blogs, maybe I should look at their product.” So I did.

And while NetAccounts certainly looked capable of doing what we needed — gawd, our accounting needs aren’t rocket science! — it was the quality and sincerity of your communication which persuaded me to take a proper look.

  • Your online demos are voiced by you, not some slick presenterdroid. This is reassuring.
  • Your website won’t win a design award, but there’s no clutter and so far I’ve quickly found everything I’ve looked for.
  • Saasu speaks in simple, direct language. You don’t shout about “Your business will be transformed”, you show me how I use your tool to do everyday things.

Imagine Saasu were a person. They’d be conversational, straightforward, to-the-point. All elements which build trust. All characteristics of someone you’d actually want to be involved with your business.

I’ll certainly have more to say about NetAccounts while I set it up over the weekend. But for now, my office manager Virginia Bridger had this to say after an hour or so poking around:

It’s a program that’s obviously been built knowing that human beings are going to be using it.

Oh, and Marc? I’ve just used your logo without asking first. I’m guessing that you won’t mind, given the context. 😉

Explain the rules, plainly

It may seem obvious, but if you want your clients to behave in a certain way, why not just tell them? Open honest communication really is the way to go.

That’s why I was thrilled to see the following message in a newsletter from my chiropractor:

Missed appointments and late cancellations — our solution

Missed appointments and late cancellations are an inconvenience not only for us, but also for other clients who may have wanted your appointment time and miss out. So in future missed appointments and cancellations on the same day will be handled as follows:

1st missed appt: We understand, anyone can forget once.

2nd missed appt: We’re not very happy — a gift (wine or flowers etc) is required to appease us. Or we will donate your “Missed appointment fee” to charity.

3rd missed appt: Our regular fee will apply.

4th missed appt: Our regular fee will apply and we won’t make any more appointments for you.

What a superb piece of writing, too. It’s friendly and conversational, but it’s also laying down the law.

Crikey editorial slams Howard, Rudd over Aboriginal intervention

The best summary of the cynicism and nastiness of John Howard’s War on Indigenous Unpleasantness I’ve seen so far is the Crikey editorial today, written by Sydney journalist Alex Mitchell:

This is the last throw of the dice for John Howard. He is doing one big favour for the mining industry which he has faithfully served in public life for the past 30 years by rolling back Aboriginal ownership of their tribal lands. Cynically, cruelly but utterly predictably, he’s doing it under the hypocritical colours of humanitarianism. (Very similar to the invasion and occupation of Iraq sold as “spreading democracy”)… He is being aided and abetted by Kevin Rudd’s craven behaviour… Rudd has vacated leadership on the tragic issue of rescuing Aboriginal communities and given Howard the opportunity to play his sickening Father of the Nation role. Paul Keating, you were right about the Rudd team of fixers, hucksters, flyweights and spineless opportunists.

That’s just a taste. The full version is well worth it.