Thursday, November 24, 2016

#Demonetization Demonized @ Bank Branch

I got this message from the bank, a private bank, rated one of the best, globally (financial performance is no proof of customer service!) 
Dear Preferred Customer, visit your branch in person to deposit your old currency. Call your RM to fix an appointment @ ##### ##### for a seamless experience at the branch
- Got 2 mails from the CEO of the bank, yday & day before. No option to respond, except to the usual link on website! "If you have the option to write to me, I should have the option to write back to you. Else don't write to me"!!

- Why so late? What took you so long?!

I visited the branch to deposit (a small amount) and withdraw, having managed without cash all these days. 
"Bank staff don't even recognize me"!! A humble preferred customer. 
I was made to show original ID proof, copy thereof with my signature; my signature on the cheque was verified for withdrawal and asked to "stand in line" (meharbani?!)

Then why the SMS in first place? 'I would have been better off without the tag, 'preferred' customer!" Pls re-define 'preferred'!
A customer is the most important visitor on our premises…”   Mahatma Gandhi
- Customer sitting next, with exactly 10X my cash (Income Tax may be interested in him!), mentioned, 'people were a lot more disciplined here. But that was not the case elsewhere'. He seemed to be visiting multiple branches, like the Bangalorean who spent his Sunday morning visiting all the ATMs in the area. Of course the ATM attached to the branch remained 'No Cash' for last two days! 

Other customers were heard saying...

- 'I am sitting here at the bank. I will take time' (for lunch?!)

- 'If you don't respect my time, I will not achieve anything in life' (profound!)

- 'What is status of the order?' (he was working, must be an entrepreneur)

- 'I am at the bank, not at a bar'! (No comments!)

- 'No I am not standing in a queue. But 'sitting' in a queue' (Time is precious)

- A child was crying and the mother was struggling to pacify him. Naturally he would have felt the negative energy at the bank!

All the bank employees went about doing their work, but were 'disconnected'. They were professional. But then a machine could have been a better option, instead of human being. The machines were counting notes already.
Literally all employees at the branch seemed to be on demonetization fire-fighting.
But they were fighting someone else's battle. 
There was no empathy for the customer. Bank manager was conspicuous by his/her absence.  Banks, including pvt banks, have lost the plot, an opportunity to serve customer.

I walked out with a slight tilt to my right. It was not due to back-pain or a new style. The cash in my kurta pocket was causing the tilt. Felt heavy, emotionally. I was suddenly conscious of the safety of my cash too. 

It has been two weeks since India was hit by #Demonetization tsunami. Is 'demonetization' the right word (juste mot!) is still being debated in the press. The customers are being demonized.

PS: We train our bankers for the  demonetization 'war'. Let's train them to come 'home', too... To Serve Customers during war & peace
Inspired by TedTalk: We train soldiers for war. Let's train them to come home, too.

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