Monday, January 23, 2017

Article on Happy TV: Chinese New Year Bank Hours : By: Raymond Anthony Fernando


With increased competition, worldwide in the face of global challenges, all businesses, including banks, have got to pay much more attention to satisfying customers, by providing not just strong customer service, but ‘delightful’ customer service.

For banks to win new customers and retain older ones, both product and service delivery must be adequately aligned with customer expectations: achieving customer satisfaction and loyalty is essential for long-term survival.  In achieving this goal, it is vital for banks to form a close working relationship with her clients

Ultimately, customers should feel valued, wanted and loved. This is not just about how you handled a transaction. It's also about building and enhancing a relationship with people who are an essential part of everything you do.  Every customer must walk away after a transaction saying: “I love that WOW service!”

It has always been a tradition for those celebrating the Lunar New Year to change new notes to give Ang Pows (red packets filled with money) to loved ones and friends during visits. 

DBS has seen the importance of this tradition. Effective 11 January this year, DBS has come up with a novel idea of introducing the Pop-Up ATMs at 41 POSB locations island-wide that will allow their customers to secure new notes for the Ang Pows.

A key benefit to customers is that most of the ATMs are fully operational round-the-clock and in the last two years, more than 40% of pop-up ATM users withdrew CNY new notes outside branch opening hours. This year, all pop-up ATMs are conveniently accessible to customers 24 hours daily with the exception of the ones located at Chong Pang and Toa Payoh West which will be available from 9 am to 10 pm daily. POSB ambassadors will also be on hand to guide customers at the various pop-up ATM locations from January 11 to 27, 9 am to 9 pm.

I have noticed that large numbers of customers are turning up at DBS branches to change notes as they still prefer face-to-face transactions and most of them are the elderly who are not that well versed in the latest technology.  However, the look on their faces shows they are unhappy in having to wait hours on end.  I hear grumbles.

We can do more for these citizens by extending the operating hours at all branches before the Lunar New Year and also after the holidays as a large number will visit the branches to deposit money, which is also another yearly tradition.

Instead of opening the branches at 8.30am, start counter services at 8 am and instead of closing at 4.30pm on weekdays, extend the service to either 5.30pm or 6 pm.

Next, where branches do not allow for cash transactions such as the branch in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4, exercise some flexibility and open up the counters to provide this notes exchanges during the Lunar New Year period.

Singapore Post in very much into ‘customer delight’ service and they extend their operating hours on certain days. For instance, on Wednesdays, the SingPost branch at Upper Thompson Road extends it service two hours longer so instead of closing at 6 pm on all weekdays, they operate from 9.30am to 8 pm on Wednesdays. In addition, the branch at Ang Mo Kio central operates from 8.30am to 8 pm on all weekdays and up to 4 pm on Saturdays.  Such a service also makes good business sense.

If the proposed suggestions can’t be implemented this year, for whatever reasons, DBS management could consider doing so next year.

Raymond Anthony Fernando



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