CHICAGO – “How many get at least a phone call a day from Bank of America?” questions James Carlini.
Funny, how Bank of America has become a government-dependent network pest instead of a leading financial institution. It needs another $34 billion to keep afloat?
Easy solution. Cut out the nuisance phone calls.
An open assessment to Bank of America:
How many times do people have to tell you “no” when it comes to insurance on your credit card? These call are right up there with the people claiming that “The warranty on your car has expired and you must renew” or “this is your final notice about your auto warranty expiring”. Senator Schumer has asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate and put an end to these warranty renewal robo calls. Should he investigate you next?
Who is in charge of your call center? If they were smart, they would know that repetitive nuisance phone calls do not build relationships, they destroy them. Ask any politician who made too many phone calls to voters to make sure they went to the polls. They went to the polls all right, just to vote this person out because the phone calls became obnoxious.
Do you have a state-of-the-art CRM system in your call center? It should be tracking the last time you called some person. If your systems are so antiquated, shouldn’t the government just let you die off?
We should not be backing loser companies which have old systems that do not address basic customer service issues. One of my sources says, “Why should we back another loser? They seem like they are the Chrysler of banking.”
Where are the bank’s priorities?
With so many people looking for re-financing, why aren’t you addressing that as a high priority? I called several weeks ago on a Monday to a Bank of America branch and got a response back on Friday telling me the rate which was just told to me on Monday had changed. I was told that I would get a call back later to get more details on re-financing and never did. Good follow-up? NOT.
I stopped by and told the bank manager don’t bother. I went somewhere else and they took care of me – quickly. I could not understand Bank of America’s lack of responsiveness on something that should be viewed as good business.
I thought the bailout money was to help facilitate the acceleration of helping people finance and re-finance homes. And now you need another $34 billion? For what?
Get off the phones! Unless you are doing callbacks to lend out money, start spending that money in other places like real customer service and facilitating. Do what you should be doing with all that government money that was earmarked to help the average homeowner as well as some stretched thin businesses. Lend it out.
What is your core business?
Evidently you must have Moe, Larry and Curly running the place because real bankers would understand the market. You even pulled out change-counting machines just as there was a surge of people collecting coins in cans and bringing them into banks to exchange for paper money. Does any bank economist or marketing VP get out of their office and look around in the real world?
That is like a hospital pulling out all their X-Ray machines. Good cost-cutting measure because now you don’t have to maintain them – but that’s part of your core business!
What is the “new solution” at Bank of America if you bring in change? They put it in a sealed plastic bag and send it to some “centralized processing place” that counts the money. I want to see it counted. That’s like the butcher and baker taking the products you selected out back to weigh them on the “centralized scale”. What if they “lighten the weight by an ounce every time they weigh something? Could someone in the “change counting centralized location” pick up a quarter or two on every plastic bag they process?
That NEVER happened in any bank. Oh no. No employee ever scammed some money off an account?
If this sounds too simplistic, then let’s take a look at the complex approach you have undertaken to get into the lucrative end of the financial market. You bought Merrill Lynch. There are a lot of questions still unresolved on that deal. You would think that getting back to core banking business would cement better relationships with your average customers.
How much is a lost customer worth to you? How much are they worth to your competitors? How much do you pay to gain new customers? What do you do to retain customers? Whatever the answers are, the strategy is not working.
What do I know? I am just a customer soon to be a former customer.
Carlinism: High finance begins with instilling people to save – even if it is nickels and dimes.
Recent columns by James Carlini
- James Carlini: State mandates: Stimulus Policy
- James Carlini: Twitter and other digital bling
- James Carlini: Refinancing not for everyone
- James Carlini: Government stimulus money shouldn’t revive Industrial Age
- James Carlini: Three critical issues facing many states
This article previously appeared in MidwestBusiness.com, and was reprinted with its permission.
The opinions expressed herein or statements made in the above column are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wisconsin Technology Network, LLC.