Welcome - Haere mai!

Haere mai (that means "Welcome" in the Maori language). Here's hoping that you enjoy your visit to this blog.
Cick on "Comments" under any post to leave a comment or start a discussion on that item.
What are these? AddThis Social Bookmark Button Click on these buttons wherever you see them in the blog posts, if you would like to share your likes/dislikes regarding this site with social network information sharing schemes (e.g., StumbleUpon, Digg).
________________________________________________________

2010/04/22

The myth of "bank quality of customer service"

After responding to an online questionnaire on "Quality of Customer Service" from my bank, I was asked if I had any further comments. Well, I did, and this was it: (However, I shall not hold my breath in anticipation of a reply.)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thankyou for giving me this opportunity to speak up as one of your customers.
The bank asks me: "In your own words, what do you think [the bank] is doing wrong with their direct communications to you?"

In answer: 
Though I consider the bank to be not a bad bank per se, the bank's communications (and this survey) would seem to cynically conceal the bank's objectives to maximise revenue/profits at the expense of their customers.
The emperor has no clothes. Usury is a basic and very old form of parasitism - ethically unscrupulous - and this truth cannot be altered, however much you might try to disguise it or declare and pretend it to be otherwise. The sin of usury was an observation in the Old Testament, so it has certainly been nothing new for humanity for 2,000+ years. Not as old as intestinal worms perhaps, true - they are parasites that have been sucking the blood of their human hosts for tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of years.

Using this as an analogy: Since the parasite has no interest in its host organism, then it is ludicrous and cynical to try to persuade the host to somehow "believe" that the parasite is in fact symbiotic and has the host's "best interests at heart". I wonder - are consumers really thought to be that gullible? Maybe some of them are, but they won't all be so gullible. Does the bank (as parasite) feel the need - for whatever reason - to maintain the myth of symbiosis for protective colouration perhaps, as a camouflage? If it did, then it could probably be a useful survival instinct - the last thing you would want is the host looking around for a suitable parasiticide.
In any event, this would be deceptive in the extreme and, if usury is a sin, then it would merely serve to compound the sin by the deceit.

So what is being done wrong here with the bank's communications is the maintenance of an illusion - the fallacy that the bank can have "happy customers", when in fact no host organism could possibly be happy to have a leeching parasite fastened to it 24x7.
Customers have to tolerate the bank only because they have little alternative in the closed and controlled economic market (banking is still an oligopoly in NZ, dominated by a few Australian banks which own most of the bank brands and with little real competition and lots of borderline "legitimate" price-fixing going on). In this market, credit unions are arguably the most useful and least parasitic of financial institutions, whereas the banks are powerful, profit-driven, efficient corporate psychopaths, with a captive market and they know it. The idea that banks somehow "contribute to society" is another cynical myth. A psychopath could not even comprehend the need for such a thing, let alone actually do it. The banks can lobby the government and strongarm the customers as much as they want in order to extort maximum revenue/profit from the host organism.

If a host becomes sucked dry to a husk, then it's "Oh dear, what a pity, never mind", the loans are foreclosed, and "Next customer! We love you!"

That the banks do however seem to try to maintain a cynically friendly smile and claim they have "customer intimacy" whilst they are breaking their customers' arms makes this situation all the more egregious.

Well, you did ask!
By the way, I work as an IT and management consultant and have 30+ years' experience under my belt. I am well-qualified in accountancy and business studies, and process engineering. My experience includes many years in the banking and finance industry and in strategic market planning. This means that I probably have more than a passing understanding as to, for example, how the banking business model and the NZ RTGS system ticks. That does not necessarily mean that I am unable to see a lot of the inherent flaws in the model or the industry sector.

In conclusion, and without wishing to teach my grandmother to suck eggs, I would suggest this: If the bank management believe and hold as true the paradigm that getting a high score on a facile customer survey is a tactic that could provide any real/valid measure of "quality of customer service" or of "customer satisfaction", then arguably it could indicate that they could have a lot to learn and unlearn - about surveys, statistical veracity, business process optimisation, quality of service process outputs (as per Deming et al) and strategic market planning.

I'd love to help.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

No comments:

Post a Comment