Australian Banks Q1 2024 Call Centre Rankings

Australian Banks Q1 2024 Call Centre Rankings

Introduction

In August 2023 we commenced mystery shopping calls to a minimum of six different Banks across Australia to assess the performance of their call centre to provide Voice of Customer (VoC) insights into the performance of the call centre channel for consumers and add additional value for ACXPA Members who are seeking regular, independent industry benchmarking data based on real calls, not self-reported information..

We pose as real customers and assess the accessibility (how easy it was to connect to a live agent) and the customer service/quality of the interaction using over 80 different performance metrics as defined in the Australian Contact Centre Quality Standards.

As the majority of Banks require existing customers to provide account information prior to connecting to a live agent for enquiries, all the scenarios we tested were posing as new customers searching for credit cards, home loans, term deposits etc, that can be considered new business opportunities for the Banks.

Existing customers may have different experiences, as they are often treated with a different priority and handled by completely different teams.

Average Banking sector data is published monthly for ACXPA Members, and we publicly release a quarterly report (like this) containing average sector information, executive commentary and a small sample of the individual results for three random Banks.

Banks that purchase our Contact Centre CX Benchmarking reports receive the data for all 80 metrics for their contact centre each month, call recordings, assessors notes, trend data and benchmarking data for any five competitors they nominate. Learn more >

Scroll below for additional insights or use the links below to jump directly to a section.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Q1 2024

Of the six business sectors we currently assess (Banks, Car Insurance, Councils, Energy Retailers, Internet Retailers, and TAFEs), Banks were the lowest-ranked overall sector for Q1 2024 with a score of 43.0%, primarily due to difficulties getting through to a live agent.

When we were able to navigate our way through the extensive menu options and wait times, the quality of the customer experience was ranked 4th (of 6).

  • The Overall ranking score for Banks in Q1 2024 was 43.0%, the lowest of all sectors. Scores for each bank ranged from 32.2% (Bendigo Bank) to 64.1% (NAB), with NAB being the top-rated bank for the past five consecutive months.
  • Access rankings for the sector were 44.2%, with scores ranging from 32.3% (CBA) to 68.6% (NAB). The Banking sector has been ranked the worst of all sectors every single month since records commenced in August 2023 (For comparison, the highest sector for Q1 2024 for Access was Internet Providers, with 81.8%).
  • Quality scores for the sector were 57.5%, with scores ranging from 43.6% (Westpac) to 71.1% (ANZ).

ACCESS RESULTS Q1 2024

Accessibility scores (how easy it was to get through to a live person) across the Australian banking sector have continued to be rated as ‘Poor’, coming in last of all sectors for the previous seven months since we commenced the surveys.

  • For Q1 2024, the Commonwealth Bank was the most difficult to get through a live agent with a ranking of 32.3%, with NAB the easiest at 68.6%.
  • Across the banking sector, 35.2% of calls we made were not answered in Q1 2024 within our 10-minute threshold, which, despite the poor result, is the Bank’s best result to date. Only one bank, NAB, has answered 100% of the mystery shopping calls we have conducted since August 2023. Conversely, Bendigo Bank failed to answer 55.6% of our mystery shopping calls in Q1 2024, and they have consistently had the lowest result since records commenced, suggesting systemic issues with matching resources to demand.
  • Average wait times across all Banks decreased to their best-ever result in Q1 2024 with an average wait time of 03:40 minutes, a decrease of 00:43 minutes from the Q4 2023 results.
  • Westpac’s average wait time for Q1 2024 was just 00:04 minutes, marking the sixth consecutive month of being the quickest to answer calls of all banks.
  • Bendigo Bank had the longest wait times (06:29 minutes), followed by ING (05:28 minutes).
  • All Banks had a minimum of two IVR layers (press one for this, two for that) ranging from 2.3 layers (Bendigo Bank) to 4.7 layers (Commonwealth Bank).
  • In addition to making menu selections, customers were forced to listen to recording messaging ranging from 00:24 minutes (Bendigo Bank) to 01:39 minutes (CBA).
  • 50% of the Banks are now using a combination of push button and speech recognition technology to help customers navigate the menu options.
  • Westpac and CBA were the most prominent in encouraging people waiting in the queue to speak to a live agent to hang up and shift their enquiry to online.
  • Westpac disconnected 33% of our calls in Q1 2024 as there was no option to cater to our enquiry type. Rather than providing an option to still talk to someone, the call was simply disconnected.
  • Talk time averaged 05:38 minutes across all banks, ranging from 03:29 minutes (Bendigo Bank) to 08:05 minutes (ANZ).

QUALITY RESULTS Q1 2024

The Quality of customer service across the Banking sector was rated ‘Below Standard’ with a score of 57.5%, ranging from 43.6% (Westpac) to 71.1% (ANZ).

  • Of the five Quality Competencies we assessed using the Australian Contact Centre Quality Standards, the ‘Engage’ competency was the lowest rated at just 25.0%. Banks continually fail to build rapport with customers, take ownership, and provide a personalised experience. Scores ranged from 12.5% (ING & Westpac) to 41.7% (NAB).
  • The ‘Educate’ competency was the highest rated with a score of 75.5% ranging from 50.5% (Westpac) to 83.3% (ANZ, CBA and ING).
  • Using the customer’s name during the conversation,  one of the four ‘Engage’ behaviours we assess, was ranked at just 16.7% for the Banking sector, with ANZ, Bendigo Bank and CBA all scoring 0% for Q1 2024.
  • ‘Empathy’, one of the four ‘Energy’ behaviours we assess, was rated at 79.6%, down from 89.8% in Q4 2023. Scores in Q1 2024 ranged from 66.7% (ANZ & Westpac) to CBA (100%).
  • There were no major audio issues observed in Q1 2024 across any of the Banks, however, CBA had distracting audio on 33% of their calls.

Call Centre Rankings Key:

POOR

BELOW STANDARD

MEETS STANDARDS

EXCEEDS STANDARD

OUTSTANDING

OVERALL RANKINGS – Q1 2024, AUSTRALIAN BANKS

Overall Rankings*
Australian Banks - Q1 2024
1st:NAB64.1%
2nd:ANZ52.1%
3rd:ING40.7%
Lowest:Bendigo Bank32.2%
Sector AVE43.0%
Industry AVE54.7%
ACXPA Australian Banks Call Centre Rankings Q1 2024 2

*The Overall Rankings are determined by the Access Score and Quality Score, with a higher weighting applied to the quality of the call. Deductions/penalties are applied for metrics that impact the customer’s experience, such as technical glitches, audio quality, and a failure to answer calls within our 10-minute threshold.

ACCESS SCORES – Q1 2024, AUSTRALIAN BANKS

The Call Centre Access Rankings rate how easy it was for customers wanting to speak to a live person to discuss their banking requirements.

59 individual elements are assessed, capturing the entire experience before interacting with a live agent including queue wait times, how easy it was to find the phone number, the number of menu options (i.e. press 1 for this, 2 for that), messaging times, hold music, audio quality and lots more.

Mystery Shopping calls to Banks are terminated if wait times exceed 10:00 minutes.

ACCESS Overall Rankings
Australian Banks - Q1 2024
1st:NAB68.6%
2nd:ING46.7%
3rd:Westpac42.1%
Lowest:CBA32.3%
Sector AVE44.2%
Industry AVE63.3%

Purchase insights for your bank >

ACXPA Subscribers and Members can instantly see the quarterly leaderboards for an additional six metrics.

Join now to view instantly >

ACCESS Metrics

Below is a sample of the highest and lowest-ranked banks for 6 of the 59 metrics we assess, along with the sector averages to illustrate the gaps between the best and worst performance in the Banking sector.

Companies that purchase the Contact Centre CX Benchmarking reports will be able to view all 59 metrics for their business and any five competitors they nominate. 

Calls Answered %
Australian Banks - Q1 2024
Highest:NAB100%
Lowest:Bendigo Bank44.4%
Sector AVE64.8%
Industry AVE84.6%

Purchase insights for your bank >

Menu Navigation Time
Australian Banks - Q1 2024
Lowest:Bendigo Bank00:31
Highest:CBA01:12
Sector AVE00:46
Industry AVE00:26

Purchase insights for your bank >

Menu Layers
Australian Banks - Q1 2024
Lowest:Bendigo Bank2.30
Highest:CBA4.70
Sector AVE3.5
Industry AVE2.1

Purchase insights for your bank >

Total Message Time
Australian Banks - Q1 2024
Lowest:Westpac00:18
Highest:CBA01:39
Sector AVE00:51
Industry AVE00:35

Purchase insights for your bank >

Average Wait Time
Australian Banks - Q1 2024
Lowest:Westpac00:04
Highest:Bendigo Bank06:29
Sector AVE03:40
Industry AVE02:40

Purchase insights for your bank >

Total Experience Time
Australian Banks - Q1 2024
Lowest:Westpac06:10
Highest:ANZ14:32
Sector AVE10:59
Industry AVE10:18

Purchase insights for your bank >

QUALITY SCORES – Q1 2024, AUSTRALIAN BANKS

Whilst average wait times are typically longer for the banks than other industry sectors, it’s still what happens during the call that can have a large influence on the satisfaction of the customer. 

Recent CX Statistics continue to highlight the importance of the live interaction with a customer service employee, and the preference to speak to a live agent rather than an automated chatbot/AI etc.

The Australian Contact Centre Quality Standards have been developed and refined over 30 years, and when businesses consistently achieve high ratings in these core competencies, there is a direct correlation to improved business metrics however you measure them – Sales Conversions, NPS, Customer Effort Score, improved efficiency, reduced AHT etc.

The standards apply to all contact centres and are adapted to customer service or sales calls.

Quality is assessed across five core competencies and 18 call-handling behaviours that directly correlate to better customer and business outcomes: Engage, Discover, Educate, Close, Energy.

Learn more about the Australian Contact Centre Quality Standards >

QUALITY Overall Rankings
Australian Banks - Q1 2024
1st:ANZ71.1%
2nd:NAB62.2%
3rd:ING57.2%
Lowest:Westpac43.6%
Sector AVE57.5%
Industry AVE57.6%

Purchase insights for your bank >

ACXPA Subscribers and Members can instantly see the quarterly leaderboards for an additional six metrics.

Join now to view instantly >

Quality Competencies 

Below are the overall scores for each of the five quality competencies we measured to assess the quality of the customer service provided by the live agent.

Each quality competency has an additional three or four behaviours we also measure to enable businesses to hone in on specific skills that can be improved through coaching and/or training.

Companies that purchase the Contact Centre CX Benchmarking report will be able to see the data for all 18 behaviours for their call centre and any five competitors they nominate.

ENGAGE Overall Score
Australian Banks - Q1 2024
1st:NAB41.7%
2nd:ANZ37.5%
3rd:CBA29.2%
Lowest:Westpac*12.5%
Sector AVE25.0%
Industry AVE36.0%

*more than one business achieved the same result in this sector.

Purchase insights for your bank >

DISCOVER Overall Score
Australian Banks - Q1 2024
1st:ANZ72.2%
2nd:NAB55.6%
3rd:CBA50.0%
Lowest:Westpac38.9%
Sector AVE50.9%
Industry AVE54.7%

Purchase insights for your bank >

EDUCATE Overall Score
Australian Banks - Q1 2024
1st:ANZ*83.3%
2nd:CBA*83.3%
3rd:ING*83.3%
Lowest:Westpac50.0%
Sector AVE75.5%
Industry AVE67.0%

*more than one business achieved the same result in this sector.

Purchase insights for your bank >

CLOSE Overall Score
Australian Banks - Q1 2024
1st:ANZ83.3%
2nd:ING66.7%
3rd:NAB66.7%
Lowest:Westpac50.0%
Sector AVE66.7%
Industry AVE62.4%

Purchase insights for your bank >

ENERGY Overall Score
Australian Banks - Q1 2024
1st:ANZ79.2%
2nd:ING75.0%
3rd:Bendigo Bank70.8%
Lowest:CBA62.5%
Sector AVE70.1%
Industry AVE75.5%

Purchase insights for your bank >

DEDUCTIONS – Q1 2024, AUSTRALIAN BANKS

Deductions are applied to the overall scores if there are moments that can negatively impact the customer experience, including excessive queue messages, technical glitches, menu navigation challenges, audio distractions, etc.

A low score (i.e. 0.0%) means there were no deductions applied.

Deduction Leaderboards can only be viewed by ACXPA Members.

Join now to view instantly >

ACCESS Deductions
Australian Banks - Q1 2024
1st:NAB11.1%
2nd:ING44.4%
3rd:ANZ44.4%
Highest:Westpac100%
Sector AVE55.6%
Industry AVE32.7%

Purchase insights for your bank >

QUALITY Deductions
Australian Banks - Q1 2024
1st:Westpac*0.0%
2nd:NAB*0.0%
3rd:ANZ*0.0%
Highest:CBA33.3%
Sector AVE5.6%
Industry AVE6.9%

*more than one business achieved the same result in this sector.

Purchase insights for your bank >

LIFETIME AVERAGES – AUSTRALIAN BANKS

The lifetime averages for six metrics, displaying the top three Banks, the Bank with the lowest score, and the lifetime sector average.

Overall Rankings
BANKS - LIFETIME AVERAGE
1st:NAB60.5%
2nd:ING45.9%
3rd:ANZ44.1%
Lowest:Bendigo Bank32.9%
BANKS AVE43.0%
INDUSTRY AVE55.6%

Purchase insights for your Bank >

Date Last Updated: 04 Jun 2024

ACCESS Rankings
BANKS - LIFETIME AVERAGE
1st:NAB67.3%
2nd:ING47.2%
3rd:Bendigo Bank36.4%
Lowest:ANZ30.7%
BANKS AVE41.4%
INDUSTRY AVE64.3%

Purchase insights for your Bank >

Date Last Updated: 04 Jun 2024

QUALITY Rankings
BANKS - LIFETIME AVERAGE
1st:ANZ63.6%
2nd:ING57.9%
3rd:NAB57.5%
Lowest:Westpac46.2%
BANKS AVE55.2%
INDUSTRY AVE57.1%

Purchase insights for your Bank >

Date Last Updated: 04 Jun 2024

AVE Wait Time
BANKS - LIFETIME AVERAGE
1st:Westpac00:59
2nd:NAB01:23
3rd:CBA04:06
Longest:Bendigo Bank06:36
BANKS AVE04:07
INDUSTRY AVE02:32

Purchase insights for your Bank >

Date Last Updated: 04 Jun 2024

Total Message Time
BANKS - LIFETIME AVERAGE
1st:Bendigo Bank00:25
2nd:Westpac00:26
3rd:ING00:35
Longest:CBA01:21
BANKS AVE00:47
INDUSTRY AVE00:34

Purchase insights for your Bank >

Date Last Updated: 04 Jun 2024

Menu Layers
BANKS - LIFETIME AVERAGE
1st:Bendigo Bank2.40
2nd:ANZ2.90
3rd:ING3.10
Highest:Westpac4.40
BANKS AVE3.4
INDUSTRY AVE2.1

Purchase insights for your Bank >

Date Last Updated: 04 Jun 2024

ACXPA MEMBERS QUARTERLY REPORT DOWNLOAD ⬇️

Download a quarterly report that contains sector averages for 40 metrics plus the averages for 23 individual metrics for three random Banks each quarter.

The Lifetime Averages and Quarterly Report for the Banking Sector can only be viewed and downloaded by ACXPA Members. 

Join now and download instantly >

What type of scenarios do we use to conduct the Mystery Shopping calls?

We use enquiries that are general in nature that don’t require us to disclose personal information such as new customers looking for home loans, term deposits, credit cards etc.

How does the scoring work?

Over the past 30 years, we’ve developed standards based on consumer preferences and the metrics that matter – the ones that can influence the customer experience.

You can learn more about the framework we use here >

How many calls are assessed?

For the public monthly report, we include at least three calls per Bank. When Banks purchase the Contact Centre CX Benchmarking service we assess six calls assessed for every Bank nominated.

Larger sample sizes can also be purchased – please refer to our Customer Service Benchmarking service >

Real customers are not interested in sample sizes or the thousands of other calls handled by the call centre each day, they only care about their call and will make all their judgements and decisions based on that one single experience.

And that’s what our Call Centre Rankings reports capture – what a random, real customer can and does experience.

How can we improve our score?

Our Mystery Shopping program has been designed to provide Banks with the insights they need to improve performance!

You’ll receive detailed information on your performance against over 48 individual elements so you know exactly where to focus, and we also include a quarterly report that provides you with personalised key recommendations on areas to focus on.

We also offer a range of training courses that can help teach your frontline employees the skills they need to deliver great customer service (Customer Service Phone ‘Essentials‘ & ‘Professional‘), as well as training courses for your Team Leaders/Managers so they know how to coach effectively using the Quality Framework to improve your performance (and scores!).

How do I get my Bank included?

If your Bank is not listed in our reports, by purchasing our Contact Centre CX Benchmarking service, your bank will then be automatically included in the monthly ranking reports.  Learn more >

How do I order the service?

We have an online ordering form that makes it easy to order the service, nominate the Banks you’d like to benchmark against, who you’d like the reports to be sent to etc. View the online order form >

How do I access the data for Banks?

ACXPA Business Members get full access to the summary monthly data and quarterly trends for three random Banks (and other sectors) along with a host of other membership benefits.

An ACXPA Business Membership starts from just $497 per year and includes five individual memberships you can allocate to key employees who could benefit from gaining access to leading industry insights for contact centres, customer experience (CX), digital service, and in-person customer service.

If you purchase the Contact Centre CX Benchmarking Service, you will gain access to ALL data for your call centre and any five Banks you nominate.

Is there someone I can speak to to learn more? 

Absolutely! If you’d like to speak to someone further about the Benchmarking Service, please get in touch with our General Manager of Quality Insights, Simon Blair – 0407 002 113 or [email protected] or contact us on 03 9492 2871.

What type of scenarios do we use to conduct the Mystery Shopping calls?

Questions about credit cards, home loans, savings accounts, term deposits etc – most of our scenarios are about new business opportunities for the Banks that don’t require us to disclose personal information.

Why do you hang up at either 10 or 15 minutes?

All our Mystery Shopping calls are conducted live by our accredited Mystery Shoppers who are all based in Australia. We cut off the calls at either 10 minutes (sales scenarios) or 15 minutes (service scenarios) for three key reasons:

  1. Research has shown that these wait times are towards the end of the typical times customers will wait before they hang up.
  2. It keeps it real! Real customers don’t care about sample sizes, whether it was a busy day for the call centre or that they had high sick leave etc – they only care about their experience when they called, and that’s what our Mystery Shopping is designed to reflect – real customer experiences.
  3. It’s expensive. As we use real human beings to conduct the Mystery Shopping call, it’s simply not practical to pay them often for hours (hello Centrelink!) whilst waiting for the call to be answered. So unless we get a very generous sponsor that enables us to wait the full time, we thought this was a reasonable decision.

Why don’t your results align with my experience?

Despite the perception, call centres are complex operations involving lots of people, processes, technology and the random nature of call arrival as we don’t know when people are going to call! 

Even with the best planning, this can result in a varying level of performance depending on a wide range of factors, including the time of day, whether everyone who was rostered attended work, whether the number of calls forecasted is accurate, and much more. 

In addition, calls for service can be treated very differently than sales, and many call centres have the technology to alter the priority of calls answered depending on their nature, previous history, status within the organisation, and so on. 

All of these factors can result in a much different experience every single time you call a contact centre. 

As we’ve mentioned though, most customers don’t really care about any of that and will make their decision based on their phone call only – and our mystery shopping is designed to capture that – a snapshot of what customers are experiencing. 

Finally, we are also unable to test the experience for existing customers. To maintain the anonymity of mystery shopping, we cannot provide account details, etc., which many call centres now require before being placed into the queue. 

And frustratingly, its often the existing customers who receive the worst experience 😱

Do the Banks really care about the service they provide?

We’d really like to say yes as it’s a highly competitive marketplace and research consistently shows that when customers aren’t happy, it’s bad for business.

But sometimes whether it’s through a lack of resources or skills, the customer experience that is delivered is well below expectations.

When banks focus on delivering a better customer experience, not only is it good for you, but it also helps make them more profitable so everyone wins.

Why are the reported wait times lower than what I normally experience?

As we conduct Mystery Shopping calls, we need to remain anonymous, so we are only able to test scenarios that involve replicating a new customer.

Banks often require existing customers with enquiries to enter their account details meaning we are unable to test the experience for existing customers.

It’s not uncommon for Banks to treat new customers differently than existing customers with the calls given different priorities and handled by different teams.

How do I get my Bank included?

We encourage you to contact your Bank and ask them to ensure they are included. Just send them a link to this page!

Why does ACXPA publish results each month?

Our mission is to improve the level of customer experience in Australia so by publishing the results monthly, we’ll continue to ensure that Banks are accountable for the level of customer service they are providing.

What type of services does ACXPA offer?

In addition to the Mystery Shopping CX Benchmarking, we offer a range of services and resources for people working in contact centres, customer experience (CX), digital service and in-person customer service/retail. You can learn more about us here >

Purchase exclusive insights for your Bank

If you’d like to gain Voice of Customer (Voc) insights specifically for your contact centre and benchmark your results against other Banks, we offer a cost-effective, fixed-price benchmarking service that makes it easy!

Starting from just $1,297 per month, by purchasing our Contact Centre CX Benchmarking Service, you’ll receive the following:

  • Six Mystery Shopping calls into your call centre each month at random times and days where you’ll receive the full assessment against 48 metrics, our quality assessor’s notes, the employee’s name (where provided) and the full call recordings.
  • Benchmarking data for any five banks you nominate, so you can benchmark your performance against other Banks that matter the most to you.
  • Banking sector average data from all the other Banks we assess, providing you with sector-wide results to further compare your results to.
  • A monthly email with data to track your performance along with the call recordings.
  • A quarterly report containing insights and trends that are easy to understand, along with actionable recommendations to help improve your performance.
  • An optional Quarterly Insights workshop for your team (conducted live via Zoom) that can provide additional insights, coaching and guidance.
  • Access to training to help you improve results.

Want to know when the latest results are published?

Subscribe to ACXPA and we’ll let you know when new data is released for any industry sector you choose!

Upcoming ACXPA CX Roundtable - Next Guest Announcement
Upcoming ACXPA Contact Centre Roundtable July 2024 - John Stavrakis

Upcoming ACXPA Member Bites Sessions

Short, sharp interviews and presentations on specific topics to fast-track your knowledge!

The ACXPA Member Bites are only available to ACXPA Members! 

ACXPA Members can watch all the ACXPA Member Bites at any time in their Video Library. Discover which membership is right for you >

Nadine Power, ACXPA National Advisory Board Member

IVR Best Practice

Over 90% of contact centres are using an IVR (Press 1 for this, press 2 for that), and we've encountered many contact centres with over four layers of options for customers to select from. In this session, Nadine will be sharing some best practice tips on IVR design for 2024.

Presented by Nadine Power, Client Success Manager, VERSA Connects (and ACXPA National Advisory Board Member)

More sessions announced soon! 

(If you're interested in speaking at one of our events, click here to learn more >)

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