Today I spent 45 minutes waiting in line at NZ Post Sylvia Park, which is part of Paper Plus. The 25 people standing with me was initially the biggest shock, with most people doing banking. I just wanted to post my CourierPost package and be on my merry way.
What I witnessed today was a circus of poor training, customer frustration and bad PR. I am not a Kiwibank customer, though I'll admit, I was thinking about swapping to them before today's performance. I acknowledge that it's not fair to judge Kiwibank on one branch, and one encounter, though this was so poor it's hard not to leave without a bitter taste in my mouth.
What I saw today included:
- Three stations with three staff to serve a queue of 25. It was a long time before I got served, and most of us were pretty fed up by the time we got to the counter. Obviously this was known as they had allowed plenty of space for us to queue.
- One Kiwibank customer had a question that his attendant couldn't answer. She jumped on the phone, was on hold for some time, then the customer stormed out after it took too long for her to get an answer.
- Another customer was trying to refinance his mortgage. He had the forms, the first staff member had no idea what to do, so asked him to rejoin the queue. After waiting again, the second staff member was also unsure, so she tried her hardest to complete the parts of the form he had been posted. He (and rightly so) gave her a piece of his mind.
- Another customer was left waiting with a sizeable amount of cash in her hand, after making a withdrawal while the staff member left to get another form. The customer was very nervous and wanted to leave quickly as she was a target with so much cash.
My suggestion: Kiwibank, build some dedicated branches. NZ Post staff are not banking staff, they don't have the expertise. I'm sure you've lost some customers today, and rightly so - they were being served as part of a circus, not a reputable bank. Dedicated banking staff will learn who your customers are, and treat them well. You've done everything else so well, but dropped the ball so badly here.
The best quote has to go to the customer queuing behind me: maybe the other banks charge more as they get you out the door faster.
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