I’m not impressed with job titles. Never have been. Never will be. I believe they set up unnecessary barriers and disengage rather than engage employees. I am however impressed with what people do….what they really do. Seriously, look at financial institutions; who’s not a Vice President?
One of the reasons I created the Engagement Recess Activity in the RECESSitation Pack was to break through the job title and organization chart barrier and get to the heart of what people do; so that the people in the next cube, office, or department clearly know what you do, how you can help them, and perhaps how you can help a customer. Even better it is designed to get customers engaged with employees.
Take my recent experience with TDBank, America’s Most INCONVENIENT bank as I am calling it these days. I recently started the process of moving my banking there. Now I totally get that banks will put longer holds on deposited checks for new customers; but I was having cash deposits held against checks! Isn’t that criminal?
The second deposit I made was a large sum. It was a check. The next morning my entire account was negative??? The day before I had approximately $1,000 available to use.
After the Branch/Store Assistant Manager never called me back with an explanation I called customer service. The Customer Inconvenience Rep tried to explain to me that there is a hold on the check. DUH! No ____! She couldn’t explain why the already available funds were no longer available – and at least the first $100 of the deposit. Neither could her supervisor. And that person’s supervisor could only tell me that she would send an email to the “back office” and ask them why they were putting a hold on my entire account – which by the way resulted in my ATM card being declined twice at the gas pump. I asked to speak to the back office and she told me she can’t even speak to the back office.
“And as an employee, you’re okay with not being able to help a customer solve their issue right now” was my question to her.
Her response was that she would send an email. Ah, the script and the famous submit a form. We all know where those go when no one seems to know what happened. My response was your employer is creating a lousy employee & customer experience. I have options. You probably don’t have the guts to pipe up or explore yours. (Yes, I was pissed.)
Fast Forward! I get a very nice letter (sarcasm) from an Executive Vice President at TDBank offering me overdraft coverage; the letter mentions my recent ATM decline.
LIVID!! I track this one down and leave a voice mail ripping into her about trying to make money off of me with an interest charging product after the bank in essence had stolen my money – no matter how temporary! I go on to tell her that maybe they need to correct bank internal problems before selling people unnecessary products and services.
Yesterday I get a call from “The Office of the President.” Now considering everyone is a VP at a bank, I can only wonder if the Office of the President is as crowded.
Well this nice lady informs me that I have uncovered a problem in their system. Really!?!?!?! She will be investigating the problem; as she is sure others have experienced the same situation.
She ends the call informing me that she is crediting $25 in my account for my inconvenience. Woo-Hoo! Maybe I’ll use it for gas to drive to the bank. Maybe they should give me $25 every day for the customers I may have just saved. I’m serious. TDBank, are you reading this?
But here’s what is sad………..that the people in customer service or the store/branch people didn’t know who to call, what to do or how to help. But they did know how to use terms like Back Office – even though they had no idea who these people are or what they do.
My challenge to every organization is to offer every employee an opportunity to find out a bit more about the roles others play. Offer them some time each week to learn more about your organization and the employee experience will change for the better. And that’s a good thing.
Rich DiGirolamo works with organizations committed to creating a great employee experience. From Fortune 10 to the smallest of non-profits he gets people to show up “IN” their work while working harder for the organization. The end result is a happier employee, employer and customer.