Monday, June 30, 2008
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!
Saturday, June 14, 2008
The first reason I can think of is that I do not just randomly sign up for websites anymore. I must admit I used to do that quite a bit and the junk mail was horrendous. Obviosly by me not putting my email out there as much, I recieve less spam.
The second option I can think of is social media spam. Before I left Myspace and converted to Facebook, my Myspace inbox and comments section was full of virus type spam with messages automatically being sent from peoples accounts without their knowledge with a link attached, and those of us without much brain activity at least once clicked on the link which then stole our details and did the same thing, and the snowballing effect took place.
My email inbox is now almost recieving almost no junk mail which is a reasonably amazing feat considering just 2 years ago in 2006 40% of all emails were considered spam.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
I am sure you have seen the promo's online with the words "Mark Loves Sharon" flashing on a big screen TV like at the footy or a baseball game.
Much like the following picture.
It is a great promo and actually make me go searching on google in regards to what it is about. Then I found out it was for a new comedy for channel 10 and though "oh here we go again."
Channel 10's promotions for their comedy shows is quite good. A recent channel 10 "comedy" was The Wedge. Now whilst I can't recall what the promotion tools were, (aka find the promo's on the web), I do remember thinking at the time that this show was going to be hilarious, and i convinced all my friends to make sure they were sitting down in front of the TV to watch this show. What a flop. The show was horrible.
This new show, Mark Loves Sharon, which is due to come to our televisions in Late June is about one of the characters from The Wedge, Mark Wary, a troubled sports star. In the Sydney Confidential section of newspaper, The Daily Telegraph it is explained that the plot of this mockumentary is "a six-part series on the temptations and indulgences of sporting fame."
It sounds like a recipe for success, however with Channel 10 letting me down with their comedy in the past, I will wait for the critics to come out with reviews before I watch another one of their sketch shows.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Monday, June 9, 2008
There were two points in his speech which stood out to me.
The first was a story about a shul in South Africa where there were plenty of children running around every service and making noise. The elder members of the synagogue were getting upset so went to the Rabbi and asked him to do something about the children as it was distracting their prayer time. To this the Rabbi responded that he would rather the children making noise during the important parts of the service, than the silence of no one attending, as the children are the future of the synagogue.
The reason that made me sit back and think was because it made me realise I am no longer one of those children running amuck during the service like I used to be. I am now an adult and need to be in control of my own actions. I am the current future of the population as a Generation Y child and I need to take action when action needs to be taken. For these little children to be able to run amuck I need to make sure there is a place for them to do so. The amount of members of my synagogue have been dwindling for quite a number of years now, not dissimilar to the global warming crisis getting worse and worse in the last couple of years. Yet it has only been made a public issue that needs to be dealt with reasonably recently. If we, as Generation Y, do not do something there will be nowhere for the future children to run amuck and make us angry when we are 70 year old men.
The second point in the speech was when the Rabbi was explaining the difference between children and adults, and spoke of an adult and child making the same statement, "I don’t understand what you are saying." When an adult says this phrase, he is saying he does not believe the premise of which you are explaining yourself, where as when a child says this, they are simply wanting to know more and for you to explain yourself more clearly.
Children are a sponge of information, when they ask you to explain something again and again and again until they understand what you are talking about, everything they hear will help them develop into the person they will be in 15 years time. I am starting to reach that stage in my life where someone is starting to squeeze the sponge and I need to actually utilize all the information that has been gathered up until this point. I will not however, stop taking in more knowledge. Every time someone or something takes a squeeze, that bit of knowledge does not leave the sponge forever. Rather, it drips out of the sponge to be used in a context that is necessary and is then absorbed again once that time has passed. All this information will help in the long run, whether it be in the workplace solving a problem or in a social setting with friends; every little bit helps.
I hope I do not reach a point where my sponge starts to leak or I am stuck searching for that one piece of information stuck right in the middle of that sponge. As that piece of information that I cannot reach might just be the difference between being annoyed by little kids when I am 70 years old and realising they are the future, as I once was to a previous generation.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
For some reason though, I still relish the opportunity to have South African food, specifically a bubble gum called Wicks. It is not the best tasting gum, and I would not recommend anyone to go out and try it anytime soon. If you can picture a taste of mixing cough syrup with soap, and a hint of strawberry you have your flavour. Not the greatest thing in the world
Yet every time someone goes to South Africa, or comes to visit us from their, I always ask them to bring me some. It is not because I was brought up on Wicks, seeing as I moved here when I was less then one.
What is it then that makes me go back to this "home grown" food even though I know it tastes like crap?
Saturday, June 7, 2008
And by signing up online you get a further 10cents off the first purchase.
Marketing Today podcast number 62, Peter and Colin discuss the new card and the fact that the 10c off is more then just a coin, and would then entice people to go to Safeway Petrol.
That is exactly what happened to me. I went to safeway one day, spent over $30 without even thinking about it buying random objects, and was asked if I wanted to join, so I did because it was free. The next time I needed to fill up on petrol, sure enough I went to a Safeway Petrol place. Thinking this was a great new way to increase the customers image of the brand I was instead disgusted at the customer service displayed on the occasion I filled up.
I went inside, the lady behind the counter was firstly on the phone, there was no "Hi", no "How are ya" I simply had the card in my hand. She took it, swiped it, put her hands up as if waiting for me to say something, so I said which petrol tank number I was, she turned the card swiper towards me, I swiped my own card, put in all the relevent information, and she gave me the receipt and I walked out.
That is not customer service, hell that is hardly even service. At least when I go to the local Shell garage, even though I do all my own swiping and the like, the attendant strikes up a conversation and there is a bit of chatter.
I will not be going back to this petrol station, and I might stay away from Safeway Petrol for a while, at least until I get another 10c off.
Friday, June 6, 2008
Isn't the whole point of a blog to share your own personal views and then allow others to comment on these views?
I am not going to sign up to another website simply to make a comment to Seth, so instead I am posting a reply on my blog, and I can only hope it somehow reaches him.
Seth Godin , in your recent post The Cure you make a comment that "there is no real cure out there" referring to essentially everything. Pending on the situation though, the cure can be a perception thing. In term of a marketing consultant, if they go to a company and provide them with a solution which solves the problem that company is encountering, than the company would perceive this to be a cure no?
Not a very insightful comment, but one I felt like making when reading his post, which he wouldn't let me do unless I joined Digg.
Seth if you wan't to respond to my post, all you have to do is click the post a comment button. No signing up necessary.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
This is a fantastic move by YouTube, which will only increase the traffic of youtube.
The main reason for this, Michelle Lentz pointed out in this article. Is that you can only view the annotations on the YouTube website.
An example of this is when I went to the Viral Video Chart website, as I regularly do, there is a video entitled "Interactive Card Trick" and whilst watching I just thought "how on earth has this gone viral." But once I went to YouTube, I saw it was their new feature.
For now you can only link to YouTube pages, but I'm sure this will change relatively soon, and you will see those websites which are advertised at the end of the video clips, becoming hyperlinks and allowing the viewer to go directly to the website without having to do anythinkg but a click.
Uni exams are coming up, which everyone knows just means leaving the study to the last minute. My first exam is in a week from today, and so far today in the 6 hours I have been awake, I have driven home, which was 45 minutes down, once I was home I had some breakfast, another 15 down.
Once I have finished eating I decide I should go upstairs to the computer and get some work done. So what do I do? I come upstairs, sit at the computer and go check some blogs, some of my bookmarks and so on. Half an hour has passed.
OK it is definitely time to start work, so I open up Microsoft Word. Minimise it, and open up a game called Warblade. Half an hour later it is definitely time to start working!
Maximise word again, and decide I should read the specific chapter of the textbook I am about to summarise. Its a good start. I go back downstairs to grab the book out of my bag, and see todays newspaper sitting there. Unwrap it and take with me the sports section and the green guide.
Get upstairs, look through the sports section for some articles that I feel like reading, then go to the green guide and flick through the entire guide stopping to read the article about the Gruen Transfer, and about TV Writers. 30 minutes after coming back upstairs, it is definitely time to get back to my work.
I finally open up the textbook and read some the relevant information. Turn back to the computer, I have a whole week left until the exam so I may as well play another game of warblade. 30 minutes later, I should probably get some work done.
It's now 12:30 and all I've done is read the paper, play on the computer and read part of the relevant chapter.
The next 3 hours is essentially the same as the first three, except instead of reading the paper, I read some online forums, and instead of going downstairs I actually get some work done.
In the full 6 hours I summarised one topic in 140 words.
What is it about having something extremely important coming up, that makes us find any way possible to waste as much time as we can, instead of getting the sometimes simple task done.
Its now been 6 hours and 15 minutes, and the only extra achievement is that I have written another blog post, which will be entirely useless when it comes to my Banking Law exam next Thursday.