Growth is Good…Right?

I work at a financial institution and we have recently been undergoing expansion in terms of presence in certain sectors of the Midwest. We have acquired multiple smaller institutions in the efforts of competing in today’s market. However, with all this expansion there has come forth a need for integration of our computer systems, customer databases, procedures and name in the cases of these smaller institutions. At the company we all feel that this growth is good due to the opportunities it should open up to not only to employees, but to our current clientele as well. Things have been progressing moderately well and progress on most of the current projects has not suffered any delays and the timeline provided has been followed.

Now I can see how this is being viewed as a success by upper management but for the customer facing employees this growth is becoming a real pain in the neck. There has been an increase in the amount of fees being charged for accounts and for services provided by our institution, which has led to an increasing number of complaints and account closings. The Clients who have had accounts and a relationship with the company for decades are leaving because of the rebranding and what they consider to be ridiculous implementation of fees that at one point were complimentary.

From the employee side I can say that we have yet to see the real benefits of the growth in the company’s size because as I said all we have seen are increased complaints and exodus from customers.  There is a feeling that there has been a substantial increase in workload for certain groups and that expectations are not on par with the reality of the situation. The technology is outdated and it is just a big game of catch up that the corporation is attempting. It seems that expenses are being constantly increased and that the attempts at mitigating them are coming from our customer’s wallets as well as our own. Which might explain the increasing changes in personnel we currently undergo.

When looking at it from the perspective of my colleagues and customers I speak with on a daily basis one cannot help but feel this expansion is not being handled the right way and that the growth is more trouble than it is worth. It is this type of rapid growth that landed other corporations into trouble because bad loans and awful mortgages were purchased along with all the other business these smaller institutions had. This whole situation has been interesting to me because while we’ve talked of project management in class I’ve gotten to experience being part of a project with multiple activities occurring simultaneously in order to maintain costs at a low level but they fail to realize the cost of losing all these customers and the revolving door that has become their employee workforce.

Thoughts comments?

2 thoughts on “Growth is Good…Right?

  1. Purchasing an entire portfolio of another institution, good and bad assets alike, is a always a risky move but not necessarily a bad thing. In regard to the technology updates, they are probably necessary and while costly now, should result in more efficiency later. Not to say that management always makes the right call in these situations. I can see your irritation about the fees, though. A lot of customers will leave if they can find the same service for free somewhere else and, while you are not the one implementing these changes, you’ll face the worse of it because you’re customer facing. This sounds pretty similar to the debit card fee Bank of America attempted to charge, much to the ire of pretty much everyone.

  2. It is unfortunate that you have to face this especially since your role in the organization is mainly customer facing. Sometimes management seems to forget what’s going on with their company and only look at the “big” picture. Remind me of the show called Undercover Boss. I think a person from your management needs to do something like that because as you said they only see that the company is expanding but they don’t actually see what’s really going on in the customer-facing level. Customers do not like their fees to be raised (and if it must then it has to be a gradual change). I remembered in my marketing class we talked about changes that a company could make that the customer won’t even notice. Those are the changes that won’t affect customers, anything over they will complain. Thus, if they are bad changes then you don’t want to go over the limit but if they’re good you would want to go over so your customers would notice. Back to your question, I think you are right that management should take a closer look at what is going on at your level to see if the expansion is worth it or not.

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