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20 August 2014 @ 10:08 pm
Catching up  
Both yesterday and today I had lunch with an ex-workmate whom I haven't seen for a few months. He's been in the city on a training course for a couple of days, having moved into a new role in the bank. Really enjoyed catching up with him, but it brought a lot of bad memories back - talk of "uplift" teleconferences each Monday, that are compulsory for those who didn't meet all eleven KPIs in the previous week, for example. And the same tired old lines being trotted out: "So what are you going to do differently this week to improve on that result?" And everyone having to attend these "Raving Fan Revolt" sessions; urghh, my twitter feed has been full of that for weeks now, it's like bathing in a pool of someone else's warm vomit.

Added to all of that, I was talking to a friend from a branch down south, the other night, and she mentioned how she has to make at least four unsolicited phone calls per day, in an attempt to make an appointment for one of the bank's sales specialists, but she's not allowed to talk about product when she calls - she can only tell the customer that it's a good idea to get their banking reviewed. Who has time for that?! Anyway, they've been told that if they don't make their calls, they'll be getting calls from the area manager. You'd think he'd have more important things to do, yes? To me, it smacks of bullying, and just hearing about it made me feel really anxious.

You'd also think that after 21 years there I'd really miss the place, wouldn't you? I miss what it used to be, but not what it's become. And then the Financial Review last weekend was trumpeting about bank's financial results, and how their biggest improvements were in productivity gains ie doing more with less, and I knew exactly what they were on about, and how those gains are achieved. It's the frontline staff, and fewer of them all the time, being flogged for every sales opportunity, to the point where walking into a bank is a profoundly disturbing experience for customers, with overtones of MacDonalds "Do you want fries with that?" enough to set your nerves on edge. I won't set foot in a bank if I can possibly avoid it, these days, to the point of depositing cheques via the atm on the weekend.

Unfortunate, in the extreme, that it's the only business I know.
Tags: ,
Current Mood: depresseddepressed
mrua7mrua7 on August 20th, 2014 12:25 pm (UTC)
Sad to say that it's the same all over. Times have changed, it's not about people it's about the almighty dollar. I cringed reading about the meetings, and phone calls and I agree, bullying. I worked in retail sales for 32 + years and went through all that. It was no longer about customer service, it was all about being an 'automaton.' Yep, would you like fries with that? I hated having to ask those trite questions and being forced to greet a customer with 'lines' instead of a genuine hello.

I feel your pain.

To this day I cringe when I have to go near a shopping mall. And strangely when I'm in a shop, I've become so aware of the way I'm spoken to or treated by a sales clerk. I used to let things go, but now, I don't hesitate opening my mouth to complain when someone treats me like a non-entity. Having to follow rules that we don't like, shouldn't mean that you should be discourteous to your customers. Granted some people are miserable in their jobs, and I feel for them having been through it myself...but still no excuse to let the world know how miserable you are and take it out on your customer.

We're all dealt a hand and need to make the best of it until we can hopefully move on to a better situation.

Gee, apologies, I didn't mean for this to turn into a rant.
miwahni: MFU Illya Sulkingmiwahni on August 21st, 2014 11:03 am (UTC)
It was no longer about customer service,...
You're so right. It went from being an organisation that was totally focused on the customer, to an organisation that just didn't care about building the rapport and earning the right to offer something, and instead only looked as far as the current sale.
Go ahead and rant, my original post turned into one as well! I'm glad you managed to get out also.
mrua7mrua7 on August 21st, 2014 12:56 pm (UTC)
Catharsis....for sure.