“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, 1928-2014
Today, I have decided to dedicate my page to all employees of organizations I have had contact with, who work straight from their heart. I have already special mention of such persons in previous articles over the almost ten years of my writing journey with B&FT newspaper. I thank this newpaper for giving me space to share thought-provoking opinions with readers. My column, “The Risk Watch” is not always about reminding readers of potential dangers and how to prevent such. Fundamentally, when people work straight from their heart, it is evidenced for all to see. Moreover, risk incidents are even minimized with dedicated service. Before then let me do a new dedication to one staff who works passionately from his heart.
Kudos to Mr. Benjamin Anim, Security Guard, GCB East Legon Branch
Due to digital banking, I hardly visit banking halls. However, I have consistently witnessed the passion with which Mr Benjamin Anim, the Security Guard at GCB East Legon branch performs his duties. Under the leadership of the ever-smiling and very responsive Branch Manager, Mr Joe Zaga, this Security Guard works with so much passion. Despite his age, he is very energetic, warm and professional. He has a combination of being the “Flagman” for cars, while also directing drivers on the parking lot, running back and forth with so much vigor, in the hot sun. of course, we can all say that he is doing his duty, but in some companies, such roles are performed with little feeling for the clients, followed by quick reprimands when the parking is not done well. Some are just plain lazy. They will watch you drive in, finish parking before they lazily approach you for “wrong parking” or “no reverse parking” How annoying! One does not need to give Mr Anim a tip for doing his work. During my last visit to the branch, I asked for his name, which he gave me, after I had congratulated him for his professionalism. Kudos Benjamin, and continue working with your heart as the face of GCB East Legon branch.
The Reflections Journey Continues
Just as the above quote by Maya Angelou said, the unforgettable experiences are very much imprinted in our minds…..both good, bad and ugly. For this purpose, I am going to try to remember the various appreciations I have sent to various personalities across the service industry on this weekly column within the almost ten years of my journey with B&FT. Obviously the persons may or may not be in the same company, nor the company even be still in existence. A good feeling lasts forever.
- William Selassy Adjadogo, Editor in chief of B&FT
My on-line partner in sharing knowledge, but full of action from the background. We have met only a couple of times but he is a man of few words. His emphasis is on quality. Working online with frictionless activities, and quick resolution of issues. Welldone for your brand and dedication. 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 continues to move higher.
Erstwhile UT Bank
- Edna Nyarko Boateng……Treasury Department, exceptional and professional interaction with a customer, even without facial interaction. We have never met, but my memories of her remains.
Opportunity International Savings and Loans
- Samuel Blankson…….. Driver, professionalism all throughout.
- Priscilla Cudjoe….Front- Desk staff, Haatso MTN Agency, Professionalism and ethics. She refunded excess cash I had paid for a Mobile money transaction.
- Zara Mohammed… My favourite Relationship Manager….Passion for work and always in touch.
Zenith Bank, Achimota Branch
- Frimponma, Teller at Achimota branch….Very professional with the right attitude. I sent my PA, who came back with all smiles, ready to go back to open an account. The little things he took him through in her professional way left an indelible mark in his mind.
Ecobank Head Office
- Benjamin Hammond (alias Alhaji Ismaila), Security Guard … works with passion, combines security duties with good human relations to all.
Bayport Savings and Loans
- The Training Team made up of Madam Dora Dery and Mr. Ernest Tsiadey Topey for their untiring devotion to their duty, during a training session at the National Banking College. They made sure that the participants as well as the Facilitators took their responsibilities very seriously.
Lead Afrique International.
- Mrs Leticia Ohene-Effah (Co-Founder, Lead Afrique International)
The Mentor with a Swag. Host of the Saturday morning CitiFM radio program, FamLife, which offers counsel on family life and relationships. She mentors our younger generation on strong ethical principles and does it with great passion. She is a great brand for the radio station
SSNIT, Kokomlemle Branch
- Mrs Mary Ametepe, of the Customer Service Desk, for her exceptional welcome and service to senior citizens who come to her desk. I want to reiterate that senior citizens like us really appreciate the little things workers do for clients. Even though my request was a simple one, we ended up warming to each other. Her computer system had slowed down, but she politely informed us about the delay and kept us informed. This prevented any complaints. We even appreciated her problem and relaxed and did not pressurize her.
Union Savings and Loans
- To the staff at the Head Office of Union Savings and Loans Co. Ltd. I noticed that the staff went out of their way to GREET and acknowledge the customers when they pass by them. You may think it is no big deal, but when such basic things are getting lost in modern day relationship banking, it is worthwhile to mention them. Whatever Mr. Phillip Oti Mensah and his Team were doing, it was good. For many customers, these supposedly “little things” really matter. The electronic gadgets facilitate banking transactions but cannot replace the human touch needed in delivering the service.
Former MTN Head office
- Kofi Lokko, of the IT Department of MTN Head Office. He was responsive and went the extra mile, even though he was not a customer-facing staff. He was observant and not just passing by when customers are waiting, when there is nobody to attend to them. This man quickly asked me of my mission and within a few minutes he had called one person to come and re-direct me. He did not leave me there but waited for the staff to come and take me down to the appropriate department downstairs to help me. He made sure I was not left there alone.
Fiaseman Rural Bank
Mr. Evans Aidoo, former GM…We witnessed the glowing citation and appreciation showed by the Board Chairman of Fiaseman Rural Bank to the outgone General Manager, Mr. Evans Aidoo which was published several years ago, as he received a Rav4 Toyota. He was so dedicated that he sat in my training program meant for his staff, throughout that weekend. Such dedication. I say Kudos to Evans as he has left a good legacy and respect in the rural banking arena. A good name is always better than riches.
The Difference between Customer Service and the Customer Experience Journey
Dear readers, these interactions were actually one-off interactions. The interactions were made several years ago, and the companies or employees may not be there, but the feeling remains.The Customer Experience effect usually involves a customer journey or end-to-end experience, as opposed to their satisfaction at various individual transactions or touchpoints. These can include many things that occur before, during, or after the customer experiences a given product or service. Therefore, it is important that the overall service operations around the journey is re-imagined in addition to solving issues at the level of individual touchpoints. If we can receive such delightful service at every touchpoint, then the customer experience would be overall excellence.
Minimizing Risk along the customer’s journey
Attending to full customer journeys instead of touchpoints can drive stronger business outcomes. For instance, a McKinsey survey found that customer satisfaction with health insurance is 73 percent more likely when the entire journey works well than when only touchpoints do. Looking to the hospitality industry, customers of hotels that get the entire customer journey right may be 61 percent more willing to recommend those hotels than customers of hotels that just focus on touchpoints. It is obvious that attention to detail, procedures and the manner in which such services are delivered is a major boost to every company, ensuring their loyalty, retention, less opportunity to facilitate unethical acts and eventually boost the corporate image of the company.
Anybody involved in a service industry, just do it well with your heart. Remember mistakes are bound to be made, but they are not failures. Do your utmost best in all circumstances. Your clients are watching, and God is also watching.
Thanks to everyone who knows they are delivering great customer experiences from the bottom of your heart, whether online or offline.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alberta Quarcoopome is a Fellow of the Institute of Bankers, and CEO of ALKAN Business Consult Ltd. She is the Author of Three books: “The 21st Century Bank Teller: A Strategic Partner” and “My Front Desk Experience: A Young Banker’s Story” and “The Modern Branch Manager’s Companion”. She uses her experience and practical case studies, training young bankers in operational risk management, sales, customer service, banking operations and fraud.