Lim: Dear bankers

·3 min read

It drives me up the wall when I get a canned answer from customer care—one mindlessly memorized or robotically read from a script. When I call to get an issue resolved, I expect to speak to a person with critical thinking skills, not one who recites nonsensically like a robot.

Are these the unintended consequences of outsourced customer care? But what about when your own bank personnel can’t deliver? Too many incidents to mention so I’ll just cite one.

I call my Relationship Manager, one day, to seek assistance about a credit card she had cancelled for me because through customer care, it just didn’t happen. I complain I still receive messages about this card.

Not possible, she tells me. I must be confused. It must have happened BEFORE the cancellation not AFTER because I guess this would cast doubt on her efficiency. I tell her it was AFTER. She insists I’m wrong but that I would definitely NOT be receiving any of these messages anymore.

Well, lo and behold, after I put the phone down, it lights up and another one of those offending messages comes up. I send her the screenshot. She finally believes me. Imagine what a client has to go through to get help.

Unless someone has a history of pathological lying, there’s no reason to disbelieve, second-guess, gaslight or dismiss any client like an old fog.

This happened years ago and I would love to show her my inbox today which contains emails I continue to receive from this offending bank and cancelled credit card.

Recently, I was irked by an email exchange with yet another bank employee. I had sent in a request. She replied by sending me some other thing I did NOT request. I repeated my request. She replied with a dismissive, please see what I sent you earlier like I was a grade-schooler who didn’t pay attention.

It was only when I emailed back, this time, putting in ALL CAPS the requested item that she finally got it.

Please read your clients’ messages carefully before sending your replies. Did you answer their questions? Or did you send a standard form reply that didn’t, in fact, address the issue being raised?

Don’t take an impatient, condescending tone with us because despite your superior technological skills, you’re not necessarily smarter than us. And despite our advanced age, sometimes, it’s actually you who don’t get it—not us.

I’ve held back—countless times. After cancer, I promised I would get mad—less. It’s been the hardest thing I’ve ever attempted to do in my life—because I just can’t take the level of idiocy, inattention and lack of integrity that competes to fuel my wrath daily.

To the remarkable bankers, thanks. To the crummy ones, I pray you see the light. To my friends in the industry, you know what I’m talking about.

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