The power of listening: Vancity steps up to the plate

Just got off the phone with Bill Corbett, Vancity’s Business Banking Director, Operations and Cash Management, who had commented on my last post and reached out to me, asking me to contact him to discuss any further suggestions or insights I had about my recent business banking experience and what Vancity could do differently in future.

Although the blogosphere zeitgeist is Opinions ‘R’ Us (I sometimes think my next blog should be called ‘No Thought Left Unexpressed’), I will confess that I felt rather guilty when he told me that several folks at Vancity had seen my post over the weekend and that there had been some internal debate about it. I never meant to make you work on your days off, people, nor was I hoping to see (or hear) of any heads rolling. I’m merely a fan of The Tudors, I don’t actually think I’m Henry VIII.

What was truly refreshing about the conversation was that it was not a mea culpa on Bill’s part, but rather that it was an exchange of information and viewpoints and an acknowledgement that despite our best efforts, we cannot always either provide – or receive – a customer service experience that works for both parties, no matter how hard we try.

I was very impressed by the openness of the conversation, by Bill’s active listening skills, and I was delighted to hear that the points I’d identified were of concern to the organization and that my blog post had brought them to the forefront of internal discussions, that Vancity is looking for solutions, and that their approach to finding those solutions includes seeking input not only from their existing customers but from potential customers as well.

In the same way that people who don’t vote don’t really have any right to criticize the government they were too apathetic to elect, when you’re asked, as a member of a community or stakeholder group, to engage in a dialogue, you need to take advantage of that opportunity. Things may well not change as a result of your expressing your opinion – you can’t please all of the people any of the time. But the promise of this new century is the incredible richness and variety of opportunities to listen widely, to learn continually, to be heard by an unprecedented number of people, and to act quickly to right wrongs (or smooth ruffled feathers).

Full marks to Vancity and to Bill Corbett. I’m not a member yet. But I’m not ruling it out in the future any more, after one unfortunate experience. In fact, I have a lot of confidence, based on the things Bill told me they were debating on how to make banking with Vancity easier, more accessible, and more targeted to its different customer groups, that the issues I raised in my previous post will be addressed.

So – thanks for listening. I feel validated as a person, a blogger and as an entrepreneur.


About ruthseeley

Ottawa born, Toronto educated, lived in the Lower Mainland and southern AB for more than a decade. Passionate about community, democracy, and good books. Fond of the Oxford comma.
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2 Responses to The power of listening: Vancity steps up to the plate

  1. Pingback: william azaroff » Blog Archive » Monitoring your brand health – part one.

  2. Pingback: william azaroff » Monitoring your brand health – part one.

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