Winning with Customer Service



Operation management in the banking sector is challenging for me since I’m holding the duties of branch manager. Last class we have learned about operation management in the service sector. I didn’t realize that what I’m doing is considered as operation management. As you all know customer wants and satisfaction is the success measure of any business; i.e. if customer left our branch dissatisfied he will be unwilling to deal with the bank and it will affect the bank reputation.

I have just faced customer complaint last week when his car loan application went into a long process over our bank departments. He was saying that his friend applies for the same in other bank and he got the car after three days only. When I contact the other department asking about the reason for the delay it was not reason that will stop processing the loan and the loan can be processed now and then the customer is going to provide us with the requested document.
What I have realized here, bank departments that have no direct customer interaction will not do their job based on customer is first, what they do basically is to make sure that all documents needed are provided.

What do you think about operations, credit and risk department? How can they be involved in providing excellent customer service?

Moreover, the customer was complaining that the customer service representative was not clear about the missing document. I have talked to the customer service representative and realized that she did not read the document properly before sending it to the concern department and at the same time the car loan were approved from three departments without realizing the missing document.
I think the problem was from all departments starting from the front line to the back line. At the end his requested was processed in exceptional bases because the bank policy prohibits processing such loan without the required document.

Do you think the bank policy is a source of not meeting customer expectations? What about exceptions? Does it meet customer expectations?

At the end, the customer gets his car in the same day he raised the complaint and he left the bank satisfied and happy. He will be dealing with the bank as his loan will last for seven years which will leads for a strong customer relationship. As you all realized the problem was from the front line at the beginning, I have explain the problem with the customer service representative and instruct her how to deal with such cases.

How can the customer service representative avoid customer complaint? Is training enough?

6 thoughts on “Winning with Customer Service

  1. I had the same experience when I was having my training during my B.Sc. degrees. And at that time there weren’t many competitors who provide auto loans as these days and the customer where fighting with us to get such loans.

    I remember a case where the approval took days due to the lack of proper communications between the customer, risk department and the sales person. All these needs to align their jobs to have the job completed and get the approvals in order to deliver the car to the customer. Any delays in these steps will let the whole process be delayed.

    One more thing as well, the car dealer sometimes gets delayed. Booking the deals in the system requires the availability of all the documentation from the customer and car dealership. If all these are not available on time, the cheque will be delayed and this might lead the car dealers not to deal with the bank. Thus, losing a major business lines.

    It is a very long process and needs each step to be followed in a very careful way.
    Lovely topic Maryam.

  2. In a company, it is vital that all departments have to work together in order to provide good customer service. Although, the customer service department is the one interacting with customers, the back office plays an important role in supporting the front desk customer service and helps provide and maintain a good service. Good communication should always be intact between departments in order to hurry the processes. I have come upon many situations in which the delay is from the back offices. In these situations, the front desk customer service usually gets the heat from the frustrated and angry customers.

  3. Such issue is seen on a daily basis regardless of the type of the organization but guess what? The other departments within the organization are considered as customers as well! In comparison the real external party who adds real dollar value to the company revenue is the one we are usually concerned about! As we discussed in class customer satisfaction in the service industry is a challenge to be measured; however, today we have developed methods to monitor such aspects. I think every company should invest more in customer service department, in terms of training and adapting to the rapid development in technology that can ease a customer’s life and increase his/her satisfaction. The broad idea today of the different social means of communications, in which many companies are taking advantage of building close relations with their customers. Such public transparency would then lighten the employee’s concern about providing best service quality in different departments of the organization.

  4. Working at a Bank too makes me relate to this , I guess such cases occurs at all banks due to the pressured customers once there is an advertisement for any application. Furthermore I believe an integrated system would help, like developing a register where it is accessed by all ( operational departments ) and its updated on daily basis , that way staff ( like us ) would know how to track the papers. Also if there is any delay we could go back to the register and find the reason mentioned . What you did in terms of changing the customer’s behavior and made him leave satisfied shows that you are an excellent manager who could fix problems , however the staff should be trained too. In terms of training programs I believe the staff should enter training programs like ( knowing the procedures of the Bank ) , ( handling legal issues and documents ),and ( dealing with angry customers ).

  5. I’ve unfortunately had a problem with a certain bank about a year ago. To sum up my experience, I asked the teller a question she apparently didn’t understand. I thought she was ignoring me so I kept repeating the question, yet she still wouldn’t answer it. I eventually left rather annoyed and I think my example is a good example of bad customer service.

    I think two ways to avoid customer complaints is training and most importantly, hiring people with good interpersonal relationship skills.

    If you do hire someone who is a wizard in the banking sector, yet not too good at interpersonal skills, training will help that person to a degree. However, if you do hire someone who might not be as good in banking (yet competent), yet knows how to resolve conflicts, understand when a customer is getting upset, remember names, etc, I think training isn’t applicable to such a person.

    I still work somewhere in the food service industry and I know customer service is a key for any kind of industry that deals with clients.

  6. I forgot to mention, with the current reputation banks have nowadays, customer service must be exquisite. My current bank appears to have shifted to being friendlier with clients. I remember before the bank bailout controversy that my current bank will just literally hand me my money and I would leave. Nowadays, they would say things like “Welcome to (name of my bank),” “How would you rate my service?” and “You may be receiving a call asking about my service, please say 10!”

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