I currently have two accoutns with two seperate banks. Commonwealth Bank and Westpac. I recently went about comparing these two banks in a number of different areas.
Online: If you went to both of their websites, you would most likely see that the Commonwealth site, is a lot better then the Westpac site. The CommBank website looks a lot cleaner and is a lot more user friendly and easy to navigate. With their online banking sections, again the Commonwealth site looks a lot cleaner, but the Westpac site is a little bit easier to navigate and find what you need to do.
Commonwealth wins for the online section, with a far surperior design, and a little bit more thought going into their online feel.
In branch: These two banks are distinctly different in their layout and operations. The branches I am comparing are the Hawthorn branches of both banks, and the East Doncaster branch for Commonwealth Bank. Westpac's branch was a lot more open with lots of space, probably a little too big for my liking. When I went in I was also the only customer there which most likely didn't help the matter. The staff however were very friendly, with me being taken from the regular cashiers to the customer service section, which is a few tables near the entrance. Had there been some signage, or anything which said that was the customer service desk, perhaps I would not have wasted my time going up to the regular counters. The lady I spoke to was very helpful however, and actually changed my accounts around to give me the best deals possible, whilst also being warm and friendly.
Commonwealth on the other hand, first off their layout is a little bit different. As soon as you walk in there is the customer service desk with 2 people standing behind it ready to talk to whoever needs it. The bank has a warmer feel to it, with it still being spacious, but a little bit smaller so you don't feel like a single person in a big empty room as I did with Westpac. They do however differ again in dealing with the customer service person. Whilst it was a lot easier to begin talking to this person, they were almost useless in what I was asking them about (this is the Hawthorn branch, not my local one), and the lasy basically gave me a little book which was meant to answer any questions I had and basically sent me on my way without really trying to answer any of my questions herself. I found that pretty poor customer service. In my local branch in Doncaster however, it was a different vibe, and whilst I am not a regular in the bank, I was treated as if I was, and they were more then happy to sit me down and talk about what I wanted to know.
In Branch Westpac is the winner, but only just. Their layout needs to change dramatically at least in their Hawthorn Branch, so that it is not so spacious and empty inside, or at least they could put in some chairs, or paint the walls a different colour to plain white to give some warm feeling. BUT their service was top notch and couldn't have really been much better, and what else do you really need with a bank, other then being efficient and effective.
Phone: This one again, was two almost completely different scenarios. First off, Westpac do not have a general number to call, it has to fit into one specific area, so if you want to talk about a number of things (luckily I didnt) whilst I am sure most of them would be able to handle a number of different areas, it is silly not to have one general number to call. Now to actually speaking to someone on the phone, the wait was a lot shorter for Westpac, and it could be for any number of reasons, I called at different points in the day, it could have been a really busy time for the CommBank, or Westpac might just have more staff on the phones, but that isn't going to come into it, a wait is to be expecting when calling a bank. When speaking to the people from the two banks they were both quite helpful, and in the end reached a point where I no longer needed to speak to them on the phone.
Therefore there is no way for me to compare as they were both efficient, therefore the phone section is a draw.
Both banks scored 1 section each, which doesn't really allow me to distinguish all that well which leaves me with only one solution.
ANZ here I come!