25 July 2006

Which bank creeps out its customers?

Number 3 in a series reporting bizarre customer service encounters at my local branch:

Back in March this year, the Commonwealth Bank announced a "new strategic direction focussed on customer service". What I'm seeing at my branch, however, appear to be some very un-focussed and, frankly, downright weird manifestations of that strategy.

I went to bank a cheque the other day. When the teller brought up my account details on screen (where I couldn't see them), he peered at them then smiled at me and asked: "How's your home loan?". Perhaps this was simply meant to be a friendly enquiry or, more likely, a clumsy introduction to some kind of "up-sell" (e.g. "Can I make an appointment for you to talk to one of our lending advisers?"), but I found it disquieting. It's like going to the doctor with a cold and having him/her look you up and down and ask "How's your liver?". My natural reaction: Why are you asking? Do you know something I don't? Have I turned yellow since I last looked in the mirror? etc.

Am I just being paranoid? I don't think so. I actually appreciate "Do you want fries with that?" customer service scripts when they are contextually appropriate! Unfortunately, when the context and delivery are inappropriate, the effect is invasive and creepy. Another example of the Commonwealth stalking its own customers!

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