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This article was originally submitted by Parvez Jamil
Our banking sector’s management and staff are incredibly irresponsible! Bankers, you are all wonderful in banking innovations and customer care on paper but it’s a different story in practice.
Banks open at 9:00 am sharp but it is all generally breakfast galore as customers wait, wait and wait. Furthermore, when a customer gets their turn to be catered; one fears whether the system is on and working or claims for it to be out-of-order! It’s OK once in a while but it adds to customers’ agony when this is mostly a regular routine.
When the concerned staff is late or has not come, back up is either not ready or unavailable and customers are well left unattended. Moreover, if one has any queries, they are to wait in line. Their misery is doubled when they are told after very long that they were “unfortunately in the wrong line;” with no information booth to address queries.
Worse comes to worst when you look at the ATM service which is mostly unavailable before 10-30-11 am. This continues to happen even though banks open at 9.00 am and clear timing instructions have been given by the State Bank of Pakistan in this regard.
Among the staff, there are people who work or would like to work diligently. However, problems arise when one honest worker is overloaded, overburdened and overworked; with files, paperwork, phone calls, instructions, deadlines, customers and visitors.
Thus, the possibility of costly errors and mistakes loom large and, in the end, the honest worker is blamed and held accountable accordingly. This, therefore, suggests the fair distribution of work and responsibility in order to work in the best interest of customers.
Despite fancy claims and statements, resource mobilization is a far cry.
It is a pity when savings scheme planners focus only on the elite or gentry; and neglect the rest of the public or majority of the national population; who doesn’t even know how to fill forms and meet tedious formalities. As a result, they eventually get stranded and sidelined in bureaucratic snags; smashed out of the system.
Our banking gurus need to implement those wonderful savings schemes that they envision about children, taking on board both children of the upper strata before they indulge in fast depleting extravaganzas; and for poor kids, before they become beggars or perpetual seekers of alms and/or charity.
There shouldn’t be any complacency, immobilization or procrastination on the banks’ part in catering to customers according to what is promised to them or planned in principle; in order to address the queries and grievances of customers; young or old, rich or poor and of any and every gender.
As a result, the banks’ staff needs to be trained in, accustomed to and acclimatized with customer confidence-building and ensuring that customers are not rendered helpless.
Although a helpless customer is a helpless customer, what is incredibly agonizing is the helplessness which is a result of the staff’s rude behavior; turning customer care into a customer’s nightmare!