Minimize your complaints – tit-bits for bank customers (2)

April 20, 2017
Source: Alberta Quarcoopome l thebftonline.com l Ghana
Minimize your complaints – tit-bits for bank customers (2)

“I have learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel!”

Maya Angelou, the famous African American poet.

 

Last week, I laid emphasis on the reasons why educating the customers about their duties and responsibilities is very crucial. Ignorance of these obligations eventually results in customer complaints. It was refreshing to receive feedback from both customers and bankers about some of the little things we can do for each other which we sometimes take for granted. I am sure that some customers will now know the basis for certain decisions and actions of their bankers.

Kudos to Mr. William Selassy Adjadogo, Managing Editor  of BFT!

Before I continue, I wish to say a special Kudos to my on-line partner in sharing knowledge, Mr William Selassy Adjadogo. We have met only a couple of times and the first impression I got was that he is a man of few words. I quickly deduced that it is a quality needed for that kind of job… action and not just words. We only work online without any difficulty but I can see that being in the background, directing the support service of his organization, quickly addressing any concerns raised with dispatch is a hallmark of this gentleman. I am sure you all know that the staff of the support service is the engine room of any service provider. Selassy and your Team, well done as BFT continue to move higher.

 

Dear Customer, I hope you now appreciate the fact that there are certain transactions restricted to the home branch for your own protection. Will it be fair to hear that your account has been closed in another account (by fraudulent means through an impersonator) and funds in your account emptied? It will be scary. As I said last week, if you need to perform some restricted transactions in a branch other than your own, let your branch manager be aware of your request. There are ways to go around it to reduce fraud and obviously the stress related to it.

Now let us continue from where I left off.

  1. Know where to go for your special transactions and needs: (Private banking, Corporate Finance, Investment banking, Stockbrokerage, Microfinance, etc)

Many private or personalized banking customers are packaged differently and are served in specialized environments for their convenience and specialized needs. In these days of e-banking services and the enhanced use of scanned documentation, emails, what’s up and other social media, electronic transmissions are carried through under indemnities and stringent due diligence, however if a customer must go in person for a transaction, he or she must approach the right person (bank staff), for attending to the particular need.  He or she shall not expect all the bank staff to perform every kind of job at a time. Some branches are designated for “private banking” or “prestige” customers. In case you happen to be in another branch that does not have the specialized package, please see the customer service desk or branch manager to be assisted. Do not jump the queue because the other customers do not know that there is a special package designed for you. They have no idea that service to you must be “special”, because you are paying more.

 

  1. Be aware that the front liners do not have the answers to all your enquiries.

Front liners are trained to quickly refer some enquiries to selected staff, to ensure prompt response and efficient service. Please appreciate the process when they refer you to another section. Dear bankers, remember to be professional when you re-direct customers.

 

  1. Inform the bank about any changes in your status:

Customers are advised to update their bankers on any changes in their status or documentation. eg. Telephone numbers, residential and official addresses, change of name, contacts and references. The absence of these can result in correspondence being misdirected and its resulting compromise in secrecy obligations. Many personal accounts holders who move stations in their workplaces are advised to inform their bankers. Such customers are advised to continue their banking relationships in other nearby branches of the same bank if possible. Where these are not practical, customers are advised to close their running accounts to avoid other people from checking their mails, “phishing” for information and eventually defrauding them of whatever balances left in the account.

  1. Inform your manager when you are out of the country:

Despite the introduction of e-banking services which allow certain transactions on the account, customers are advised to let their Relationship or Branch managers be aware of their temporary absence. Do you know the reason why? Quite a number of frauds can be perpetuated on accounts which become inactive or “dormant”. Banks usually flag such accounts in the system for control purposes. However when customers inform the bank of their absence, extra vigilance is conducted and regular monitoring is done as part of the banker’s duty of care to customers. Savings account transactions cannot be done without the consent of the customer. Protect yourself and your account when you are not available.

  1. Honour your word - Be transparent in your dealings:

As human beings, we always do our best to be transparent in our relationships, both personal and official. However, to err is human. It is often said that there are certain persons that one should avoid lying to: Priests, Doctors, and Lawyers. Pardon my blasphemy! A lie is a lie. One should be transparent to one’s bankers. Why am I saying so? Customers who hide some transactions from their bankers eventually regret doing so. When bankers know the real nature of business that customers deal in, they offer more appropriate advisory services. In many cases, bankers are able to link up customers to connect and sometimes help themselves in their businesses without the bank getting involved. If you are a petty trader according to the bank’s records and yet run a weekly turnover of GHC10million, obviously, the alarm bells will ring. When it is time for a loan to be processed, there will be delays arising from the extra due diligence that the bank will need to do before it considers the loan request. This will definitely cause customers to complain. Obviously the bank should not be blamed when many more questions are asked.

  1. Submit only genuine documents for loan processing:

Once the bank has approved any credit proposal, it is the duty of the customer to submit all the necessary papers and documents in one bunch, neatly sorted and arranged and not submitted in piecemeal.  It will save a lot of time for everyone and will obviate dissatisfaction and complaints. By the way, please know that the time of robbing Per to pay Paul is over. The Credit Referencing system which banks use to really know the state of affairs of a customer’s loan position in other banks is real. It cannot be manipulated and if one is not transparent at that level, all the secrets come out. The loan request is most likely to be declined. There is a portion that even indicates all your cheques that have been bounced! Oh! That is a no, no in terms of character.

  1. Comply with terms and conditions:

Having accepted all the terms and conditions of sanction of a loan/advance, it is the duty of the customer to comply with them sincerely, honourably and in time.

 

  1. Check your statements regularly.

 Much as banking transactions are performed by human beings, there is also a popular saying that “garbage in, garbage out”. Although bankers conduct checks daily and correct any errors detected, there have been cases of errors not being detected by supervisors, leading to imbalances on customers’ accounts. Please make a habit of checking your statements with the pay in slips, cheques issued, etc. Don’t forget to take into account withdrawals made by letters, counter cheques and withdrawal forms taken from the bank’s counters. Make sure these are done regularly and refer the statement received to the bankers for explanation of any unfamiliar transaction. This will prevent you from unnecessary suspicion of the bank about siphoning funds from your account!

 

Points to Ponder

 

  • Bankers, are your customers leaving your offices feeling empowered?

 

  • Managers, check your service quality “Barometer”. Are customers leaving your offices with a bitter taste in their mouths?

 

  • Managers, are you rewarding staff who make customers empowered by sharing some of these obligations with them?

 

Dear bankers, you have a tall order. Don’t forget, knowledge is power. In sharing these tit-bits with the customers about these obligations, do not lose your finesse and professionalism. Next week, we shall refresh ourselves about minimizing basic customer complaints – the role of the banker

 

I leave you with the above quote from Maya Angelou, the famous African American poet.

 

I hope these revelations will erase the myths that surround the banker-customer relationship and make banking an enjoyable experience. Meanwhile continue to share more branch banking experiences as you read and discuss my books: “The 21st Century Bank Teller – A Strategic Partner”, and “My Front Desk Experience – A Young Banker’s Story”. Check out from the offices of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, the National Banking College in Accra. Call the hotline-0244333051 for special packages. Bulk purchases from financial institutions will benefit from a “STUDY GUIDE” to the book for branch group discussions.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alberta Quarcoopome is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, and CEO of ALKAN Business Consult Ltd. She uses her experience and practical case studies, training young bankers in operational risk management, sales, customer service, banking operations and fraud. 

CONTACT

Website www.alkanbiz.com

Email:alberta@alkanbiz.com  or albique@yahoo.com

Tel: +233-0244333051/+233-0244611343

Have a good week.