11 March 2013

When Customer Service Matures

I accompanied my Father to the bank today. Dad is a little old fashioned when it comes to cash withdrawals. If he has a number for his chip and pin card then he doesn't know what it is because he has no need for it. Once a week he writes out a cheque to 'cash' and it's off to the bank.

I'll name the bank because the customer service to the elderly people who use the Lloyds TSB branch in Aldridge is second to none, as was witnessed today. Everyone was warmly greeted as they walked in, most by name. As I watched the customer service assistant help people use the ATM, rather than queuing for the windows, I realised that there is a whole generation or two of people, who have never used the internet and never will, never used a chip and pin card and never want to and who just like my Dad, prefer a financial transaction to be carried out between people and not machines or wireless connections.

The world moves quickly and we are all expected to keep up, without thought to those who are unable or do not want to embrace a digital, wi-fi, automatic existence. Funnily enough Dad was taught how to use and did use a computer when he was still working but he didn't like it so it's not because intellectually he is incapable of getting to grips with technology, he just doesn't want to. There must be a substantial minority of people in this country who do not know their way around a pc or laptop, think twitter is what the birds do and have never owned and never will own their own little internet appliance.

Life must be becoming disproportionately more expensive for this minority. Some companies charge for paper statements, others don't give any discount for anything other than an internet based account. Cheques are to become historical memories. When you sit and think about it the world we have now is not designed for those who do not have or want access to the internet.

It's a good thing that there are still some places left where the minority are greeted with a smile and treated like valued customers but I do wonder how long this will continue.

1 comment:

  1. My Dad was exactly the same with the cheques to cash thing, and he never had a debit card or credit card. He used Lloyds in Walsall for probably 50 years until he became ill, and I think part of the reason was that he enjoyed the banter with the staff. After that, he used Lloyds in Aldridge when I could get him there on my days off. I could drop him by the door there and circle the block until he came out as he couldn't walk very far at all.

    It really is nice that there are places our loved and vulnerable ones can go and not feel rushed and disrespected. Our Town Hall Restaurant is another of these places.