Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Customer Care(less)

One of my friends recently bought a new car. When he did so, he sold his old car and settled the loan he had on it and took another loan from the same bank for his new car.

The used car dealer who was buying his old car required a “Liabilities letter” or a statement that spelt out how much was outstanding on this car loan (normally the amount outstanding on the loan is directly paid to the bank by the used car dealer). When my friend contacted the bank’s call center they told him it would take half an hour for them to issue this letter if he went to the branch from which he had taken this loan. And this would be done free of charge.

When my friend went to the branch the response was diametrically opposite. The guys at the branch informed him that they would take 2 working days to prepare this letter for him and it would cost him Dh. 100.

All my friends efforts to reason with the staff there went in vain. Finally the lady in the branch (head of customer care in the branch) offered a solution. She said she would get this charged waived off under the ground that my friend is continuing his relationship with the bank by means of the loan for his new car.

My friend walked out of the branch a victor. He had finally managed to get the Dh. 100 on the letter waived off. But his feeling of triumph didn’t last long. In came his next months statement from the bank and they had promptly deducted Dh. 100 from his account for the liabilities letter.

The friend obviously was furious, he shot out mails to the head of marketing & sales, the head of customer service and the manager of the branch where he transacted.

He is still waiting to hear from the bank. I am not sure how long he would.

How could this have been averted?

1. Had all the employees of the bank spoken the same language (the call center and the branch)

2. Had the staff in the branch communicated to their internal departments about the waiver of charges and obtained their approvals immediately

3. The most important of all, this customer has a relationship worth more than Dh.100,000 with the bank. To grow that relationship, the least the bank can do is to waive 0.1% of the loan amount, which is nothing but an administrative cost.

1 comment:

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