I saw a presentation by a high street bank. Although they didn’t put it this way, the presentation revealed that they had been ‘doing quality/service programmes’ for seven years, had spent more than ten million pounds and were still no better than any other bank.
I asked “why is the chief executive not thumping the table, demanding to know why so much has been spent with no result?” “Oh no” was the reply “you don’t understand, it takes time”.
Well, I thought, it does if you do it that way.
The following year a chief executive of another bank was speaking on Radio Four. He was responding to a bout of customer criticism and said “Those customers who take the trouble to get to know their bank manager normally don’t have cause for complaint”. I think he got it in one!
These days it is hard to find bank managers. The majority of transactions with banks are conducted through call centres where staff have sales and activity targets to meet.
Hardly the best means for developing good relations with customers.
It is amazing how many people admit to having three or four weeks of panic before their ISO 9000 auditor arrives. They go around making sure all of their documentation is up to date.
What can we learn from this?
Is it that people need to be better disciplined?
Is it that the system isn’t helping them do their work?