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Customer Service- Or The Lack Of


couple The former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker recently remarked that the only financial innovation to improve society since 1980s is the ATM.

After visiting the POSB bank with my wife after lunchtime, I tend to agree with him. The long snaking queues are a ever present reminder that customer service for banks is more hot air than real. For an organisation that is earning millions and whose CEOs are invariably multimillionaires if not billionaires and this is the best they can come up with?

At good restaurants, they provide you with seats to wait comfortably while the tables are being cleared. If not, places with longer queues and better services will take down you number and give you a call when you may have a table soon.

Is that too difficult for the banks? Or are they too busy trying to make another buck or two?

During the bank visit, I saw the old, the infirm and people who came in, saw the queue and walked away.

If not for the ATM, I guess the queues will be even longer. Or maybe there will be more customer service with there being more tellers.

Anyway, poor service is not just limited to banks. I had a problem with my telecom provider, Singtel, as my internet and home line were both down. I managed to resolve the issue through troubleshooting with the internet services helpline. But the home line helpline was still engaged after 30 minutes of fruitless waiting.

Worse, there isn’t any help guide online. If your organisation cannot be bothered to man the lines with enough people, the least you can do is to provide pdf guides or self help FAQs to customers encountering problems.

The only thing that these organisations are interested in is to get more new customers, not servicing the old customers they already have.

If we are brave enough to invest in such companies, we should put aside a bigger margin of safety in case these companies take a big hit from their lack of customer service.

Do you have any pet peeves that you have regarding the lack of customer service encountered?

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