I just got this great story from a friend and colleague of mine Colin, telling me about his challenges getting a visa card from a local credit union . The credit union in question, Vancity, prides itself on being customer focused and spends a lot of time and resources listening to customers through panels and surveys. However by missing opportunities to allow customers to provide feedback around transactions or specific interactions they are missing the opportunities to fix broken processes that are causing customers to look for alternatives and take their business elsewhere.
Three calls to the call center, one dead application and one unhappy customer. Thanks for this one Colin.
After many sub-standard experiences with TD Canada Trust, I finally decided to switch. Within a month, all my accounts, funds, EFTs and cheques were handled, and I was finally set up with Vancity, the biggest credit union in Canada, and a customer service leader.
Initially, they lived up to their reputation, both in that first month with superior account support, and in the weeks to follow, with personal calls from branch management and others to ensure my experience had been as expected.
So, on to every day banking…my first ‘major’ task was to finally address an imbalance in my wallet. Two MasterCards, and no VISA, which can sometimes be an issue (though rarely). I went online to Vancity VISA, complete the online form, and awaited next steps, as promised to occur within 5-10 business days. I unexpectedly received a voicemail at work (within two business days) from a Vancity VISA customer service rep, asking that I call back to proceed with the balance of my application. Calling the number and referencing my name, I found myself in queue for the credit department, and speaking to another CSR. She said that I would get a call back, as the credit department was rather busy. I proceeded with my day.
The next day, I received another call from a different CSR….would I call them back so the application could be completed? Once again, I called in, but no luck – busy credit department. Could I call back, asked the third new CSR? As nicely as I could – I know they have a tough job, and it’s out of their control – I asked the CSR to tell me when would be a better time to call when I could get someone live on the phone. She could not. I asked her to get someone from the credit department to call me at a specific time, or leave a message with a name and extension if we missed each other. She could not. I suggested to the CSR that they should find a new process for completing the (apparently rather popular) credit check portion of the application process, where the onus would not be on the applicant to continually redial. I suggested that this might not be the best way to maintain a high completion rate for card applications…as I would like not keep calling!
She politely informed me she would make note of my suggestions. A few days ago, I received a form letter from Vancity VISA, reiterating the incomplete nature of my application form, and that I should call the number below to complete my application. The space for the phone number was blank. Have a nice day.
Knowing Vancity, I may actually get a follow-up call once the application is officially dead (I certainly won’t…it’s a nice-to-have, but I have a long list of must-dos at both home and the office). I do like the organization, but I can get a VISA anywhere, hopefully with less hassle.
Like most financial services organizations, Vancity endeavours to provide multiple products and services for all customer needs and life stages. And such an enterprise is difficult to operationalize, while maintaining effective customer service functions. I hope they get it right. There’s no telling how much revenue they lose each month from people just like me….