luni, august 17, 2009

Spreading good Karma

Setting the Background
According to Wikipedia, an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) is a computerized telecommunications device that provides the customers of a financial institution with access to financial transactions in a public space without the need for a human clerk or bank teller.
Basically, it helps you, the customer, to save time, and you, the bank, to save resources. It's really no rocket science. Overall, it contributes to customer satisfaction which, of course, like many things in this life, translates into money. Particularly because of this reason, you might think that it is in the financial institution's best interest (and responsibility) to make sure that they work properly. At least, that's what the books say.

Explaining the Context
In Germany, at a certain Deutsche Bank office however, things work slightly differently. For example, if you deposit money to an ATM, there is a possibility of not getting a receipt. I'm not sure of the reasons, but if this happens, you basically don't have a proof that the transaction was a success and that is a problem that would need some fixing.

Let's say you see the same thing happening, a few minutes later, at the same ATM, to another person (who this time, so happens to be a local). This person decides to go to the customer office in order to obtain a proof of his transaction, and is kind enough to explain that the same problem happened to you as well. In the same time.

Well, when this happened to me, the German speaking person (that was sitting right next to me) was invited to jump the 10 people line, was allocated to a bank teller who was briefed on what had happened and that printed the receipt for him. I, on the other hand, even though I encountered the gleich problem, was invited to wait because there's nothing we can do for you.. there are so many people waiting. Something along the lines: the other man could, but you can't.

Me puzzled.
I've checked the dictionary and one of the main characteristics of a rule is the fact that it applies in the same way to everybody. A rule is not like the sunny weather, which comes and goes. A rule is always there, for everybody. That's why it's a rule.

Separately from the fact that queuing to get printed the receipt from an ATM transaction, somehow defeats the whole purpose with saving time, I might get annoyed when seeing that the rules can be broken on a preferential basis. Not that I have anything against waiting, but if you are planning to discriminate me, at least be so kind and tell me why. Otherwise, I will just be so sad and think I wore the wrong dress. Moreover, not only am I forced to waste my time because of a mistake that is not mine, but I also get an employee of the company to whose profit I contribute, to speak down to me. Oh, you don't speak German, I see..

In the end, maybe it's just me not understanding certain customer service approaches. I mean, who am I to think that because I pay the same fees to my account, have no debts and do quite a bit of transactions, should expect the same kind of treatment like towards any other customer. Really Raluca, grow up.

Reality
If it weren't for that men that got the same issue fixed immediately and that lady who spoke condescendingly to me, I would not have jumped the line. Which I did, by the way. I recommended however to all the people that got annoyed at me (and for a true reason) to address the Deutsche Bank Customer service. They have a passion to perform, therefore I am sure they will spend extra time in solving a problem, no matter how minor that might be.

Yes, with them clients come first. Moreover, they are all treated equal. Oh, and what a great feeling that is.

Separate note
Germany is and will remain my favorite European country (Romania does not count). This post is to demonstrate that deficient customer service can be found anywhere, not only in Romania.

Un comentariu:

Alex spunea...

This never happened to me in Germany. Btw, I use Sparkasse, and I'm extremely happy with them :)

Once I even asked them by phone to raise my credit card limit, and they called me back within 2 hours to Switzerland to confirm in English that the operation was made.

Nice guys :)