The BNDES has several channels to meet the information needs of society and the Bank’s clients concerning its performance and its forms of financial support.
“Contact Us”, on the BNDES’ website, is one of the main channels for the Bank’s corporate support. This communications tool clarifies a variety of issues and the Bank’s institutional aspects, civil service recruitment exams, calls for bid, sponsorship and, especially, doubts regarding the BNDES’ loans. Progress of any request sent can be accompanied by means of protocol number generated by the system when the message is sent.
The Bank relies on trilingual professionals dedicated to providing support to foreigners interested in investing in Brazil.
In 2011, over 35,500 electronic messages were answered, an average of 170 e-mails a day. These figures solely concern institutional subjects or direct operations with the BNDES. Besides this, within the scope of indirect operations, the BNDES was contacted approximately 230,000 times electronically.
The phone service, carried out by means of the Bank’s call centers, also represents an efficient interaction channel between the BNDES, its clients and potential clients. In 2011, approximately 580,000 phone calls were handled.
Allowing personalized communication, the onsite service relies on teams in Rio de Janeiro, Brasília, Recife and São Paulo, which provide information regarding the Bank’s financing lines and orient clients according to their profile (individuals, micro, small, medium-sized, medium-large or large companies, the public sector and the third sector) and to investment needs.
This means of contact is an important tool for detecting opportunities to improve the BNDES’ performance based on reports from clients concerning their needs.
In 2011, the BNDES teams performed 1,301 onsite support services.
In 2011, the BNDES’ website received over 247,000 individual visitors per month, representing an increase of approximately 25% in comparison to 2010.
The growing public visiting the BNDES’ website requires an increasing commitment to the quality of published information, and also to the universality and reach of this information. Seeking an interaction interface that is more user-friendly or its clients and society in general, in 2011, the Bank made the effort to improve accessibility standards on the institutional website. The objective is to reduce the barriers to access the BNDES’ information, especially for users with special needs, or visitors who use mobile platforms and electronic devices that are constantly modernized.
The website was assessed taking into account accessibility criteria, such as page download time at different connections; the publication of files in various formats to ensure universal access; contrast in color matching between the foreground and the background; the adaptation to screen readers for people with some type of visual impairment; among others.
Changes affected everything from elements in the information structure – menus, links, tables, forms – including multimedia content – images, animation and videos – to the programming code that builds the pages. Implementation began in 2011 and will be completed in 2012, when the consolidation of routines, required to maintain website accessibility permanent, is scheduled.
Making a website available, which is adapted and user-friendly for a wide variety of visitor profiles to browse, is to assure citizens’ rights to information. Providing information with no obstacles is the first step towards more transparent and direct communication with society, bringing all Brazilian citizens closer to the BNDES’ activities and services.
In 2011, the BNDES held its traditional cycle of lectures, called BNDES Closer to You, aimed at not only disclosing financing modalities that are more adequate to the profile of Brazilian micro, small and medium-sized companies, but also expanding access to information on the Bank and its products.
Traditionally, on the annual calendar of lectures, the Bank includes events in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Brasília and Recife, cities that concentrate a large number of companies. On the other hand, the Bank also hosts lectures in smaller cities, such as Corumbá (in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul), Feira de Santana (in the state of Bahia) and Mossoró (in the state of Rio Grande do Norte), demonstrating that the initiative is not restricted to major urban or industrial centers.
In 2011, this initiative reached a public of approximately 3,400 people in 21 lectures that covered all of the country’s regions. The interest created by the lectures in Joinville (in the state of Santa Catarina), Jaboatão dos Guararapes (in the state of Pernambuco) and São Luís (in the state of Maranhão), which had an average of 250 people, exceeding attendance expectations in each event, is worth mentioning.
Besides the BNDES’ Closer to You, the Bank also held institutional lectures on more specific issues – among them: innovation, tourism and the BNDES Card. In 2011, the BNDES also held 37 training sessions for its financial agents.
The growing demand for institutional lectures for foreign audiences confirms the global interest in Brazil’s economy. Governmental representatives, financial institution and development agency missions, as well as groups of entrepreneurs and college students have requested these lectures, offered in English and Spanish.
Visitors demonstrated special interest in topics such as: social and environmental responsibility policy, foreign trade, agriculture and cattle-raising, microcredit, support for small and medium-sized companies, besides the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
In 2011, the Bank received delegations from several countries, such as South Africa, Germany, Canada, El Salvador, Egypt, Spain, the United States, France, Italy, Norway, the United Kingdom, Russia and Vietnam, attending approximately 1,000 people. The 17 lectures given to groups of North American college students are also worthy of note.
The BNDES understands that these lectures are the opportunity to enrich the foreign public’s knowledge concerning the role and importance of a development bank to strengthen the country’s economy, besides preserving Brazil’s image and reputation abroad.
Over the last few years, the BNDES has established partnerships with several business-class institutions to create information stations, aimed at promoting its financing modalities. There are 49 stations, spread across 23 states, which are responsible for providing support to local entrepreneurs (especially the MSMEs), clarifying their doubts and informing which products and programs best meet their investment needs.
In 2011, the stations were responsible for over 9,500 individual clients receiving assistance, representing a 5% increase in comparison to 2010. Besides this, the stations play a fundamental role in the vast majority of development activities, whether by identifying business opportunities, the material and logistical support, or by holding seminars, meetings and fairs.
With its own stands, the BNDES participates in fairs and expositions, which is a traditional and effective way of strengthening its institutional image. This type of activity also contributes to promoting its performance and programs, besides strengthening the relationship between the BNDES and trade associations, equipment manufacturers and the public in general. It is a way of attracting new clients and facilitating society’s access to its lines of operation.
In 2011, the BNDES participated in 29 fairs and expositions in a wide array of sectors, such as agro-industrial, automotive, pharmaceutical-hospital, mechanical, furniture, naval, sanitation and environmental, textile and tourism.
Also in 2011, the Bank’s new institutional stand was launched. It was created to be an extension of the BNDES and not merely a promotional exhibition space for its brand. At the stand, it is possible to obtain information about the BNDES’ products through promotional leaflets, as well as personalized service, provided by technicians from various operational divisions.
1. The BNDES web portal has been considered accessible since 2009 by means of the validation performed by automatic tools. However, the Bank understood that the improvement of the website’s accessibility was fundamental, by means of a human analysis, and therefore, more detailed than an evaluation made by an electronic tool. Thus, a specialized consulting firm was hired to prepare a complete diagnosis of the accessibility barriers that still existed.