The Internet seems to be down, “Is there a problem on the network?” you ask. “No Ma’am, the network is working fine, please try rebooting the computer.” 5 minutes, 3 reboots later, you call again. “I am sorry ma’am, there is problem in the main server. It will take 3 hours to sort out the problem.” What is more upsetting… that the connection is down or that the problem wasn’t acknowledged? Or even more that they didn’t call you themselves to confirm that a problem had been identified?
“Ma’am, I am sorry about the inconvenience caused but I cannot courier the statement to you – it is not our bank’s policy to send it by courier, we can only send over normal mail.” You may have tax returns to file but the packet can only reach you in 7 days, and not 2, because the bank doesn’t use a courier and they won’t make an exception, even if you offered to pay for the courier.” Sometimes however you manage to reach someone high up and it has been possible to organize a courier.
A cheque you deposited 6 months ago, hasn’t been received in the recipient’s account and you are trying to trace it by calling phone-banking “Ma’am, I understand that you need details of the cheque. What I can tell you though is that the cheque has been withdrawn, for more details you will have to go the home branch.” They won’t give you the number of the branch, so you request a call back. A call is promised but never happens. You land up at the home branch and the manager on the desk goes through the regular motions, even writes a mail to the HO (right in front of you) to figure out what happened! Only you are not so sure, if he knows HOW he needs to figure out what has happened. Five minutes, 3 interruptions later he suggests you meet the Branch Manager. The branch manager greets you politely, listens to your situation, looks into the records and confirms that the money had been transferred to the recipient’s bank but final transfer into the correct account needs to be checked at that bank – explains the procedure, hands you his business card and suggests that you call him on his hand-phone if there is a further problem – now or later.
I am sure all of us have had umpteen similar conversations. As customers, we curse when we are not heard, but perhaps forget the embedded lessons, making the same mistakes as marketers/ customer service professionals. Pleasing a customer isn’t really that difficult, as the bank manager perhaps understood.
But before we ask ourselves what customers want, a moment’s pause about what do they NOT want?
Do we want to keep them? What do they really want?
What do you think? Add to this list on the comments!
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