We’ve just wasted about 15 minutes trying to book an appointment by phone at the local branch of Santander. OK it’s frustrating for us, the customer. And yes, we could easily take our business elsewhere. But that means more hassle. And yes, perhaps we should learn to be more patient.
Err hang on a minute!
Customers who book appointments with their branches are usually doing it because they want to arrange something complex and higher value. Surely telephoning to make an appointment should be a 3 minute job.
“Hello, how can I help you?”
“I’d like to arrange to see a financial adviser please”
“OK. When would you like to come in”
“Tuesday at 10:30?”
“I’ll just check the diary. OK, that’s fine”
It’s reasonable to assume that appointments are made for the more profitable business – mortgages, loans, insurance. If customers have to jump through hoops and endure pain to book an appointment they’re likely to take the line of least resistance – either take their business elsewhere or abandon their plans. Putting a process in place to book appointments simply and quickly doesn’t require a huge amount of resources but the benefits would be huge.
Improving processes and customer service isn’t difficult or expensive and doesn’t necessarily need vast amounts invested in IT– it just needs the desire to succeed and the returns are massive.