The scenario is this: we wanted to open a bank account for a project we are currently undertaking. The conversation that I had in full with the information desk of the NatWest branch at Canary Wharf goes like this.
Me: Hello, I would like to talk to someone about opening a bank account please
NatWest Information desk lady: The person you need to speak to is not here currently, you'll need to make an appointment
Me: Is there no one else I can speak to?
Me: I came into Canary Wharf especially today to open an account
Her: You'll have to come back another time, I can make you an appointment
Me: That's okay, I'll go next door to Barclays and open an account with them
Her: Uh, okay then.
Me: Okay, bye.
I walk out, visit Barclays and open an account with them.
This utter failure of service hardly needs to be enlarged upon but imagine if you were buying a car and walked in to a Vauxhall showroom and said to the showroom staff, "I want to buy a car" and the Vauxhall staff said, "there's no one here who can talk about cars right now, can you make an appointment and come back?"
"That's okay, I'll go to Honda and buy a car from them instead".
Do senior managers in their offices with their Powerpoint slides know what is going on in the branch? I doubt it. It's not rocket science, and aren't bank accounts what banks do? I shall leave the last words however to NatWest, well, RBS, NatWest's owners, who say in their 2012 Annual Report ('Essential Reading' section, p6)
Examples of the steps we took in 2012 to put customers first included:
- strengthening our customer culture through customer charters and commitments across our business
- introducing a training and accreditation programme for all of our front line SME bankers to ensure to ensure they are better equipped to serve our customers, and
- making sure we regularly and actively monitor customer satisfaction levels, customer complaints and customer feedback across our divisions.
... we will not waver in our commitment to embed serving customers well into our DNA.
Well, in line with point three above, consider this feedback. Anyway, must rush, I have to go see my Barclays Business Manager about making a large cash deposit.