I laughed when I read this story in the Straits Times.
Oh, I thought OCBC Bank scored a public relations coup, for sure. The gesture to make up to Ms Constance Chan’s poor experience at a branch – or maybe just trying to head off a potential customer backlash after she complained on her blog – was indeed nice and totally unexpected. So was capitalising on the masterful stroke by getting media attention for it.
What I was amused about was this statement:
“With the Internet becoming an increasingly influential feedback channel for customers, banks such as United Overseas Bank and DBS Bank say they are now monitoring online news forums more closely.”
My advice to the banks is this:
Don’t worry about “monitoring online news forums more closely”.
Do the needful, and put your customers first.
Create great products.
Make your customer service even better. (Like having someone actually answering the helpline for once. An automated voice tells me you’re not interested in me as a human being).
Improve customer experience, you know, like making it easy for people to update their contact details. (One of the aforementioned banks actually required my wife to download a form, print it, fill it up, and snail mail it back so we can update our new address. How archaic.)
Create the right kind of buzz by going the extra mile. People will talk (and blog), and it will be good.
Then you don’t have to worry about people bitching and complaining on their blogs about their poor experiences banking with you.
Customer service is an attitude.
Not a list of to-dos or guidelines.