Online banking is a convenience that, to my mind, makes the internet worthwhile. I didn’t always feel that way. As a matter of fact, it was my father who ultimately convinced me to put away the checkbook and use the services that my bank was providing for free. At first, it’s a bit unsettling. Especially for those of us who learned banking before the internet. But over time, the convenience and simplicity make the process much more attractive. Thus, with some exceptions, I can be counted among the users of online bill-pay and other features.
Nevertheless, there are still some occasions on which a trip to the bank is necessary. After putting off several transactions that require such a trip for as long as possible, today became the day on which I needed to go to the bank. Several banks, actually.
The transactions required that I stop by three different banks in order to wrap up the day’s business, so I decided to make a “sweep” – all three in one trip to ease the pain.
Bank #1 on my excursion was an exercise in comfort. I’m met at the door by my personal banker (I’m pretty sure it was a coincidence that he was walking out as I was walking in, but he made it seem planned!). Being greeted with a smile and a hearty “Hello, Susan!” made me feel valued in their eyes. We chatted briefly, and he walked to the teller’s desk explaining that he wanted to introduce me to their team’s newest addition. This level of personal service in 2018 is on par with a clear digital photo of Bigfoot. That’s why I like this bank. They are always happy to see me (at least as far as they let me know), and they take their time to get things right without dragging the interaction on unnecessarily.
On to Bank #2 in my journey. Again, a greeting upon entry, this time from an unknown source behind the counter. In other words, someone hollered a “welcome” when the door opened. There was one other customer in the bank when I arrived. As we both prepared our paperwork for the bank representative, a customer in the drive through lane took the attention of the one and only teller on duty. The other customer and I chatted while we waited, and one of the bank managers came out of her office to say hello. Again, a friendly group, although not as warm as Bank #1, they were certainly making the effort to keep things light. The only issue with this bank is the lack of employees. It’s always like this at this particular branch – one or two employees are forced to handle every single customer, including a busy drive through. Again, not a bad experience (although had I been in a hurry, I might feel differently), but also not a prime example of rare customer service.
Then there was Bank #3. The absolute winner of the failure of service prize. At Bank #3, I was greeted and helped within a minute or two. The failure occurred when the young person who was helping me decided that another customer who came in was more important. While the other customer was at the next window being helped by another bank employee, the young person helping me jumped into their conversation and proceeded to leave my transaction laying at her station so that she could walk over to them. The issue was not something that required her attention – the customer was being helped by another employee – so I have no idea why she deemed it necessary to walk away from me to intervene elsewhere. I only know that she did. Upon her return, I closed my account.
Customer service. That elusive animal …. It still exists. You just have to keep hunting.
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Susan Hunter, Esq.