Robert Dwek is misguided in his belief that most customers would rather speak to someone in person in a bank than be put through to an “anonymous call centre” – “If brands don’t serve us, we’ll just help ourselves” (MW September 2).
Our recent research on how customers preferred to talk to businesses (across a range of industries) revealed that the dreaded call centre was in fact the second most important channel for getting in contact with, or being contacted by, a company.
The reality is that the majority of people see no need to deal with a dedicated branch manager for their day-to-day banking business. So why should banks provide an expensive service that most of their customers would probably bypass?
Dwek asserts that “customers want simplicity”. Surely thesimplest way to get information on your account is to phone a call centre? Dialling a central number in order to get information on your account is so much easier than trying to get the same information from your local branch.
As the demand for self-service increases, many forward-looking companies are beginning to create integrated Web and call centre service systems to provide a holistic approach to their customer service. New technology means staff are able to access a great deal of customer information, including their history with the company, more easily and more rapidly than ever before. While no one can deny that face-to-face contact in a bank is fundamental to extending an individual’s product take-up, and thus relationship, writing off the importance of call centres is simply not an option.
Director of customer relationship solutions
Group 1 Software Europe