'Sorry, Apparently, the Computer Says No!' Customer Retention and Advocacy Expert Gareth Jones of Deighton Consultants Illustrates Why Flexibility Is Key in Ensuring Customer Retention
In a recent survey in Business Matters, more than 60% of business owners said their relationship with their bank had worsened over time and around half said they are "frustrated" by their bank's seeming inability to help them.
Reading this article reminded me of a discussion I had with some friends of mine while enjoying the after-match celebrations in Cardiff following the victory over England. Somehow we got on to the topic of the service provided by the banks. While simultaneously praising and criticising the various banks we are with, one of our party stayed quiet. When we asked him what he thought, he simply said: "I've a story that will top everything!" As a result of his current mortgage deal coming to a close, my friend - let's call him Jim - had decided to re-mortgage with the bank where he had held his business and personal accounts for several years. "I just thought it would make life easier," he told us.
Jim went on to explain that his initial application was made some 12 months before his mortgage deal expired and he provided all the information requested - most recent accounts, personal details etc. (which the bank already had, by the way). After several weeks delay, he was told that having taken everything into consideration, his salary fell short of the required amount.
Slightly surprised at this, he agreed to raise his salary as soon as the mortgage was agreed and to satisfy the underwriters, had this confirmed by his accountant, with the increase scheduled to start alongside the new mortgage.
Assuming this was the end of the matter, he told us, "You wouldn't believe it, but after another delay, I got a call from the bank saying that before they could agree the mortgage, they would need the most up-to-date set of company accounts!" As we started empathising over the delay, Jim said: "Hold on, I haven't finished yet!" It appears that after sending the most recent accounts through and waiting several weeks, he was told that the mortgage could not be agreed as these latest accounts did not show the increase in salary. "How ludicrous is that? …