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Hola Bank! Me llamo Steve

? Fighting to Hear Bad News At BW |


| The Making of a Good Story ?

September 30, 2006

Hola Bank! Me llamo Steve

Stephen Baker

It's the mantra in every industry: Know your customer. In the years ahead, companies will be busy figuring us our through our data, developing chummy relationships, selling us customized services. You've heard it all before, and it has a faint ring of Big Brother. But some industries appear clueless.

Yesterday I was at a math conference at IBM. Larry Rosenberger, chief scientist (and former CEO) at Fair Isaac, the credit rating powerhouse, brought up banks. He goes to the ATM and takes out money, and 500 times in a row the first question is whether he wants English or Spanish. If banks are going to get to know us, he asked, don't you think they could figure that one out? I guess the bigger question is this: It's certainly in the banks' interest to know us. But would we rather have them remain in the dark? No matter. If banks don't give us customized financial services, other companies will.

09:51 AM



The fact is that most banks know us as data not as people.

In the matter of loans for example, your local banker as very little (if any) input in the process,

unless you bank with a credit union or a very small local bank.

Most often there is no 'human' relationship only a transaction.

Have a good week-end




Posted by: Serge Lescouarnec at September 30, 2006 11:17 AM

Here in India, we have another sort of customer service. Telecallers calling up and trying to sell credit cards of a bank whose credit card I am holding for the last 5 years.

Posted by: Maverick at September 30, 2006 08:47 PM

Maverick, I don't think that phenomenon is unique to India--unfortunately.

Posted by: steve baker at October 1, 2006 06:55 PM

My credit union isn't any better than his bank. But I'm going to forward this link to their marketing director and see what happens.

Posted by: Glenn (Customer Service Experience) Ross at October 1, 2006 10:01 PM

i like that they don't know me. sometimes i do a whole ATM transaction in spanish just to bust the cycle. and if i go down to the lower east side, i can do it in chinese. i learn the symbol for "fast cash" (and then forget it again a few blocks later)

Posted by: schadenfreudisch at October 2, 2006 10:42 AM

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