Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Market research

Santander have been conducting market research.  I received a call yesterday from a woman working for a research agency.

She was very pleasant and I was happy to spend 15 minutes answering her questions.  If a company wants feedback to understand the service that they are delivering with a view to improving, then I’m usually happy to help.  Whether that was Santander’s intent or not I don’t know.

I did have a current and savings account with Santander but after a series of poor customer experiences I walked and moved my current account.  Moving a current account was easy as I didn’t even need to step into a branch.  The savings account proved more tricky. 

When I went to close the account the cashier wanted me to talk to the manager.  They kept me waiting for the manager who wasn’t even in the branch.  They then told me they wanted me to talk to someone else and kept me waiting again.  When I finally did get to talk to someone they just told me they wanted me to talk to the manager.  We arranged a mutually convenient time and the manager promised to try and resolve the issues I had outlined.  It took over a week and I received a letter apologising and promising that in the future they would try to provide improved customer satisfaction.  The letter was accompanied by the offer of financial compensation for inconvenience I’d encountered.

I resolved to continue with the account closure.  There had still been no evidence that anything had been done to resolve the issues I’d experienced which is actually what I’d requested.  The financial compensation was insignificant and wasn’t what I’d asked for.

The market research call reminded me I needed to close the remaining account and I remembered to thank the market researcher for the reminder.

She finished by asking if I was happy for Santander to listen to a recording of our call.  Absolutely!

She asked me whether I would be willing to be contacted to clarify any of the detail in the call.  Of course!

She asked me whether I would reconsider Santander for my banking if Santander addressed the issues I raised.  Unlikely!

They have had plenty of opportunity to fix the issues and they have failed consistently and spectacularly.

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