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7 Ways to Ensure Bad Service at Your Bank

Posted by in Finance: Banking  ~  March 05, 2012 06:14:18 PM

If there is one group of people in the world who you should want top quality service from, it’s the ones who handle your money. Bank tellers and managers are no different than employees at other businesses – they require respect. If you expect prompt, effective service, you have to be aware of how your behavior is being perceived and interpreted. Below are 7 ways to ensure that you receive terrible service at your bank, and how to change those behaviors into productive ones.

1. Yell At The Teller

Perhaps the most immediate way to get labeled as an inconsiderate pest is to lose your cool and yell at the teller. Many people mistakenly believe that raising their voice will assert their authority over the other person and help them get what they want out of the conversation. In reality, the exact opposite is what usually happens. The moment you begin yelling, most tellers will go into defense mode, tune you out, and ask you to leave.

In any customer service situation, it is important to remember that you be the one to set the tone. Even if you are very angry about the situation, try to remember that it wasn’t the employee who caused you your grief. If you want a smooth, friendly experience, speak at a normal volume and use a regular tone of voice.

2. Make An Unnecessary Scene

This pointer goes hand in hand with not yelling at the teller. People create scenes in businesses (banks included) all the time, because they feel like slamming their fists down, stomping about the floor, and yelling at anyone who wears a company name tag shows that they aren’t going to take the injustice they feel they’ve suffered lying down. More often than not, those who make a big scene are simply forced by security to leave the store until they’ve calmed down.

It is important to remember that demonstrating how angry you are by having a melt down in the bank is completely antithetical to your goal of solving a service problem. If you stay calm and treat people with respect, you will be treated with respect and have a much better chance at accomplishing your goals.

3. Angrily Demand To Speak To The Manager

There are times when the service we require is beyond the scope an employee’s control, so it becomes necessary to speak to the next manager in command. All too often, the customer uses the request out of anger in hopes of scaring the employee into doing what he asks, but in fact many employees are happy to go to their manager for help if they cannot personally comply with the request.

If you feel you need to speak with a manager to get your problem solved, ask politely. Something along the lines of “I understand you cannot do this for me, but I would like to talk with the manager here and see if he or she can help me,” should do just fine. If you instead choose to angrily demand to see the manager at once, the employee will likely warn the manager that you are acting belligerently, and your problem will instantly be treated as an annoyance rather than a reasonable request.

4. Blame The Bank For Problems You Caused

Requesting that a bank removes a fee from your account (such as an overdraft or low balance fee) is a common request that financial institutions get on a daily basis. Make sure that when you ask for this courtesy you have a good reason for doing so. When it comes down to it, you may be angry that a $5.00 sandwich triggered a $40.00 overdraft fee for insufficient funds, but the bank did not force you to charge that purchase on a low account.

If you can make a convincing and friendly case for the removal of the fee (perhaps you deposited a check that hadn’t yet cleared, or it’s your first overdraft ever) banks will usually give you the benefit of the doubt to keep you a happy customer. Conversely, if you storm in with righteous indignation toward the bank for a problem you brought upon yourself, the managers are much more likely t0 cross their arms and sternly tell you that the fees will stand.

5. Take The Employee’s Mistakes Personally

When you are dealing with customer service agents, it is important to practice a bit of empathy. Try to keep in mind that it is the employee’s job to attempt to solve whatever problems you might have to the best of their ability – they aren’t paid by the bank to purposely mess with you. When an employee makes a mistake as they serve you, it can be incredibly frustrating, especially if it costs you time or money. Taking the accident personally, however, only increases the chances that you will end up yelling at the person or causing a scene.

Remember that everyone makes mistakes, and everyone has bad days. You can never be sure what is going on in that employee’s life that caused them to lose their focus for a moment (or maybe they are just new to the job), but whatever the mistake may be, it most likely wasn’t a personal attack on you.

6. Put On A God-Like Attitude

It may be true that “the customer is always right,” but that doesn’t mean you should treat bank tellers or managers as your inferiors. People can always tell when you are being condescending and talking at them rather than with them. It is okay (and actually encouraged) to be firm and direct in your request, but the use of insults and verbal lashings are unnecessary and never serve your cause well.

7. Ignore The Other Customers In Line

The sight of a very long line at the bank can make any teller stressed out as he or she tries to move everyone in and out in as efficient a manner as possible. Creating an unnecessary problem in the crowd will ensure that you are treated poorly as you approach the counter.

Of course, cutting people in line who have been waiting is guaranteed to result in a verbal dispute, but even subtle instigations should be avoided at all costs. For example, looking obviously annoyed by a customer who is taking longer than you would like, sighing loudly, or demanding that someone hurry up will not only anger the customer, but it adds to the teller’s stress and cause them to rush through your request so that you’ll leave faster. This increases the likelihood of careless mistakes, sending you back in to complain at a later time.