Does Your Bank Drive You Crazy?

We were out of the office for the whole of Chinese New Year and just got back. How was your celebration? What did you like best? The holidays? The chance to get together with family and friends? Or the chance to pig out? (Yes, it is the year of the Fire Boar after all!)

Today’s post is about banks because CNY equals money/prosperity/moolah/dough and it got us thinking about banks and our relationships with them.

Banks. We either love ’em or hate ’em.

It all boils down to customer service because banks offer (almost) similar banking services and as customers, we are just looking at how well they treat us because let’s face it – it’s our money and we can well put our money in any bank we choose. So really, how do we choose our banks? Perhaps we don’t. Perhaps our banks were chosen for us when we got into our first job and our monthly salary was deposited into a bank of our company’s choice.

But I know lots of people, from friends to cousins, who are always complaining about their banks and the hidden fees. Personally, I have never raved about banks because many Malaysian banks aren’t really fantastic. But I am thankful for internet banking – it’s a heaven sent service which eliminates the need for me to stand in line at the bank.

Sometimes though, going online and doing online banking is no better. Many banking websites are often cluttered and as a user, I am often lost when I try to find a toll-free number to call. It is clear that banking websites, for all of their spiffy mottos and slogans about ‘your needs come first’ or ‘the customer is king’ never bothered to translate them to their websites.

Anyway, the one and only bank which deserves accolades in Public Bank. We’ve been using Public Bank for almost 9 years now and we know why it has consistently been the Number One Bank in Malaysia. Because it deserves the title. Tan Sri Teh Hong Peow must be pleased as punch at how efficient his banking staff are. And they really do deserve all the praises they can get because we always get topnotch service when we walk into Public Bank, particularly the one at Kampung Jawa, Bayan Lepas.

Their tellers are like Dash of The Incredibles (you know, that cartoon of the family of superheroes with their own talents?). We never wait more than five minutes in the bank before our number is called and we get served. Service is always courteous and swift, and you can be out of the bank in two shakes of a duck’s tail. No lounging about the bank.

And if you prefer, you can deposit your cheques at their equally sophisticated cheque deposit machines. Just drop in your cheque and in two seconds, you get an acknowledgment in the form of a xeroxed copy of your copy, with time-date stamp and all. At other banks, you get this tiny bit of paper which shows merely what time you dropped your cheque in.

So yes, we love the crisp efficiency of Public Bank staff. Their system of work is amazingly fast. As customers, we don’t have to wait eons in the bank. At other banks, the tellers often gossip loudly in front of customers! At Public Bank, there is no such thing.

And Public Bank even cares for the environment. You know those number slips which you get so you know when your turn is? Well, Public Bank machines spit out this tiny slice of paper, with the essential numbers. This piece of paper is about half the size of the regular paper you get at other banks. But why not? All the paper does is tell you when your turn comes. Most people throw this bit away anyway. So Public Bank is smart – by cutting down the size of this number slip, they can save more paper which is really at the end of the day thrown away!

We think that this bank does set some high standards for other banks to follow, but these are good efficient standards. It makes customers happy (you get in and out of the bank in 5 minutes or less!) and it looks for ways to eliminate costs (cut down of the size of number slips) and still manages to be a great organisation in every way.

What is there NOT to love about Public Bank? All other banks pale in comparison!

Lesson of the day: If you make customers happy, your customers are going to rave about you to their friends and family. No need to bribe or pay them (nope, Tan Sri Teh Hong Peow doesn’t even know us – and he sure as heck isn’t going to pay us to blab good things about him). Public Bank has got it right – it aims to create happy, satisfied customers with its exceptional banking services who in turn tell their family and friends about the wonderful bank they go to. Like how we are telling you this story right now. That’s the power of word-of-mouth marketing. Works like absolute magic!

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