Thursday, October 12, 2006

Customer Care Hotline

Last week when I was in dire need of some money I went to this ATM (owned by the bank where I have an account). The ATM was a bit too hungry that it decided to swallow my card for a meal, it rebooted itself. I saw this 1-800 number mentioned on the walls of this ATM bunk and so I decided I would call this number to report the loss. In spite of 8 tries I couldn’t get in touch with a customer care executive. The line would shut itself after giving me a hope of 4-5 rings.

After a while I decided to call another number (not a 1-800 this time) to report my loss. After a customary 4 minute wait for being reassured that I am one of the banks most valued customers and some stupid music I managed to speak to a gentleman. As usual he put me on hold for sometime to get the information on my account on his screen. Then there was another 6 minutes of time spent on verification questions before the card was finally reported lost. I was told I need to wait for 3 days before the card would be returned to me. I wouldn’t have any money or the luxury of a card for the next 3 days.

I decided to bank on one of my trusted sources for the money I required urgently. I loaned it from one of my friends, with a promise that I would return it 3 days later.

3 days later I go to the bank to collect my card. After the formalities my card was handed back but not without another bomb being dropped. I was supposed to call their customer care helpline to activate my card. This process would take just half an hour said the executive there.

I called up the customer care helpline to be put on hold for 9 minutes. This time there was an additional information that was given to me more than the reassurance that I am the banks most valued customer.

The voice this time said “All our customer care executives are busy at the moment, they would be back with you in 5 to 7 minutes”

This 5 to 7 minutes kept reducing every minute. I was relieved when it did say that a customer care execute would be with me in the next minute. But to my dismay suddenly it again increased to 3 to 5 minutes.

And finally well past the 9th minute of holding the line somebody appeared, this time a lady. Then came the usual putting on hold for a couple of minutes to get my information on screen and then the verification questions that take about 6-8 minutes.

My card would now be active, after another half an hour the executive told. Before I hanged up, the executive wanted to know if she could help me on something else. I told her I would be happy if someone picked up calls at least by the 2 or 3 minute someone calls for help.

“It would be very difficult for us sir, you know we keep getting so many calls so it takes sometime before we attend each one of them”

I loved the courage of this lady to tell this as an answer to a (most valued) customer. More than the lady the bank should be proud of itself for providing such a fantastic customer service to its customers.

It is high time the bank looks at revamping its customer care system, else it is going to be too late…

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