Customer Service and Banks


Customer Service & Banks – An Oxymoron?

If a business owner ran their business like a bank runs theirs … would that business have any customers? Do you remember when banks actually took notice that they were in a service industry?

Walk into any Canadian bank and ask to open a corporate chequing account – the response is, “Do you have an appointment? You answer no, I just want to open an Customer Serviceaccount.” The teller looks at you in frustration as though you were from another planet and responds, “You must have an appointment.” Then carries on with a trained smile, “We have an opening on Monday or Tuesday of next week, which of those days would be good for you?”

Let us turn the tables around – say this same teller walks into your electronics store and states, “I would like to buy one of your 60″ TV’s” and your response is, “Thank you that’s great … let me see, ah yes we can fit you in next Tuesday or if you are in a hurry maybe late Monday afternoon. Big smile “How does that work for you”?

One would presume the teller/customer would leave and head over to the next store to buy their TV … only the next store states the same thing … and the next store and the next. All responding the same.

The electronics stores all followed the leads of the rest of the pack and latched onto a mindset that the customer was not the important thing … profits were the important thing. If customers want our products they will line up with what works best for us … just like a bank.

The banks? Well there is nothing we can do about that in Canada, aside from opening an account south of the border, where due to the plethora of banks they still have to provide service. What we can remember is our Canadian banking experience and look at our own businesses and make absolutely certain that the arrogance of the Canadian banking system does not creep into our businesses.

The customer is and always will be our reason for being in business. Being a businessperson is first learning to serve. By all means make a buck or two out of it, but service to our clients is paramount. If it isn’t we soon cease to be in business … unless you are one of the big 5 Canadian Chartered Banks that is.

Your comments are always welcome – for or against.

ian_conklin2Ian Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America. OTR Web is a Value Added Partner withHubSpot.

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