In a previous post, I said, “Tom Peters, the author of ‘In Search of Excellence’ tells the story of consulting for a big corporation. He spent some time analysing the company. He held a meeting with the company president and all the company vice-presidents. Tom was telling them all the things wrong with company, and what had to change.

The marketing vice-president got up and said, ‘I’m sick of all this criticism. We are no worse than anyone else!’

Tom says, ‘I had this picture in my mind of a banner across the front of the company headquarters reading, Buy widgets from ABC Company. We are no worse than anyone else! The company slogan would be, Kill for Old – No Worse than Anybody Else.”

In my opinion, ABSA bank stays in business because its customers believe that it is no worse than anyone else!

Well if ABSA’s slogan is “We are no worse than anyone else”, then FNB’’s slogan would be, “Bank with FNB, we’re worse than old ‘no worse than anyone else.’”

I had the misfortune to have to go to a FNB branch to sort out documents for my church. We got a number and was told, “Please wait, the system is slow.”

When our number was skipped, we questioned this and was told, “No, you are in a different queue, they will call you.”

After forty minutes we went to the person that put us in the queue, and were told, “The system is down.” When asked why they didn’t tell us this, she said, “O, didn’t anyone tell you?”

The problem with our banks seems to be that they have “Dumbed Down” the systems so much that they do not trust their staff to make any decisions. If anything goes wrong, the staff cannot help you. This demotivates the staff, resulting in poor service even when they can do something, like telling the customer that the system is down.

ABSA – “No worse than anyone else.”

FNB – “We’re worse than old, ‘no worse than anyone else.’”

Standard – They have a SAP system, so I have no hope for them.

I haven’t tried Nedbank or Capitec, so please let us know if you have had a good experience with them.

Once, long ago, bank managers would talk to you and help you! Then ABSA had a “Personal Banker” to help you. Let’s go back to these systems and help customers!

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