It’s almost a joke to use the words “customer service” and “bank” in the same sentence. Things have gotten so bad out there that big banks simply no longer care about things like customer retention and customer satisfaction. They are content to let bottom-line pressures drive business decisions that chase their own customers out the door, down the street and across town.
Small community banks are reaping the benefits of this slaughter of the big bank customer. Banks that will go the extra mile to service their customers are enjoying unprecedented loyalty, and with that, new influxes of deposits. A community bank in Greenwich, CT is promoting their new in-house courier service. They will actually drive to you so that you can conduct your banking with them without even needing to leave your home or office. Customer service, redefined.
Citizens Bank, to the contrary, just stinks. Geography forces me to be a customer for the time being, but I am actively in the market for a change.
We all know about bank fees, reduced services, and charges for everything from bank checks to a single bounced check.
But Citizens has now perfected the “Big Threat.” I have the unfortunate situation of having a very small mortgage on a piece of commercial property that I own. That mortgage is held by Citizens Bank. I have long suspected that the very low interest rate on the loan has flagged this within the Citizen’s system and they will do everything within their power to call the loan and cancel the mortgage.
Now, even though I have never missed or been late with a payment, and I try hard to comply with all the terms of the loan, each and every piece of correspondence that I get from the Citizens corporate office contains a phrase like this one: “…and if we don’t hear from you within 30 days, we will have to default the loan.”
How many of us could get away with threatening our customers when they make a mistake or are late filing a document?
And this might not be so bad if Citizens Bank didn’t wrap themselves in the customer service flag, especially on their on-hold messaging, by promising to do whatever it take to make the customer happy.
I’d be happy if they just stopped threatening me!
Citizen’s claims that “Good Banking is Good Citizenship.” No, good citizenship is being respectful and tolerant of your fellow citizens.
“We treat customers like neighbors, because they usually are,” says the bank.
If I had neighbors that treated me like Citizens does, I’d move away.
Citizens Bank is the perfect example of a brand that is not based in truth. Their marketing machine operates in a vacuum. Their tag lines are not driven by real-life customer feedback; they are driven by the bank’s wishful thinking.
Hang Citizens Bank high up on the Customer Service Wall of Shame.