Across the counter: Bank Customers decry poor service delivery
Banking hall

By Tumininu Ojelabi Hassan

The provision of quality services to customers is one of the factors that makes a bank outstanding in a highly competitive industry. Patronage by customers is as a result of the satisfaction they derive from the banks’ services and this is determined if the services meet their needs and expectations.

Daily, customers have different experiences in the banking hall both pleasant and unpleasant.
Our correspondent visited some banks across Lagos and interacted with different customers who shared their experiences with banks’ staff and their service delivery.

According to Wale Araba, the personal assistant to Ikorodu Local Government Chairman, his experience at the Keystone bank, Lawanson Surulere branch wasn’t suitable. He said “I had an issue with transferring money from my account to my business partner.

The business transaction wasn’t accomplished that day, So I had to go to the bank the next day. When I got there, I was told I needed an ATM card to transfer money. Then I proceeded to withdraw over the counter using the withdrawal slip, along the line network issue came up and I was unable to get money, not even for transport back to the office.

A Lady at the Customer Service Department, spoke to me and other customers arrogantly; she wasn’t polite at all. One other customer also complained about her nagging and rude attitude. I had to go to another branch I usually use Keystone bank, Ikorodu branch, and the staff members attend to me in a professional manner, the reception was warm and my account issue was resolved almost immediately.

Our correspondent visited Polaris bank, Magodo branch on Thursday, December 15th 2022. It was observed that there was warm reception for everyone irrespective of their status. The workers were very professional, they understood the importance of satisfying customers’ needs without wasting their time as they attended to customers almost immediately.

In addition, there were about four smartly dressed employees in the Customer Service department to attend to customers with account issues, complaints and enquiries. The customers across the counter weren’t many, transactions were carried out seamlessly, and the environment looked really neat and serene.

The parking space was spacious to contain as many cars as possible. Customers looked satisfied with the service delivery as their time wasn’t wasted.

A customer who gave her name as Esther said: “I came to make enquiries on opening a corporate account because I just registered my business and a corporate account is very necessary. I really like the lady that attended to me, she explained in details all the documents required to open a corporate account.

She said the amount of money I needed to deposit in the account before activation which is about 15,000 naira, the number of referees I need which is 2, the cost of turnover (COT) charge authorized by Central Bank of Nigeria, which is 0.5% per N1000.

According to her, everything I needed to know concerning the account opening, even when my questions seemed too much, she gave me listening ears and her attitude was superb”

Another customer, Sanni Abdullahi, a businessman also narrated his experience with Polaris bank, Magodo branch.

He stated that, “Polaris bank doesn’t stress me at all unlike the other bank I use (name withheld) who always delay my transactions. I haven’t had issues with them for the past five years. They don’t discriminate amongst customers, they accord respect to everyone irrespective of their financial status.

“I didn’t spend up to 15 minutes inside the banking hall and my transaction was successful, unlike my other bank that usually waste my time coupled with their ill-mannered workers.

Also, it was observed that as customers were leaving the bank, the workers would say “Thank you for banking with us, Have a nice day. The security men were very diligent with their work as they made sure customers’ parking didn’t affect one as they directed them to the appropriate place to park to avoid obstruction. They also gave signals to other drivers on the main road to stop when a customer is driving out to avoid an accident. The security guards smiled happily as they wished customers a nice day.

Our correspondent also visited the Zenith bank, Magodo branch. It was observed that out of three ATMs in the branch, just one was working fine and dispensing cash, the others were inoperative. Customers had to share the only ATM working. A customer who tried to withdraw at one of the inoperative ATMs and couldn’t withdraw was disappointed as he was in a haste and needed cash to get spare parts for his clients at Ladipo market.

The security guard inside the banking hall gave customers deposit slip and withdrawal slip. He directed them to the right place to get their transactions done. Chairs were well arranged in the banking hall opposite the Customer Service Department to avoid customers standing while waiting to be attended to. Customers were attended to almost immediately, and transactions were done smoothly.

A customer, Francis who came to make enquiries about opening a current account at Zenith Bank said, the lady who attended to him was polite and gave him all the vital information needed to open the account. He said “Compared to the negative things I see about Zenith bank on social media, this branch seems different from other branches as I was expecting the worst.

“But the lady that attended to me was calm, my time wasn’t wasted at all and she told me everything I need to do, the documents I need  to open the account which are my passport photograph, a valid ID card, utility bill and then two referees that also have a current account. I really appreciate their service in this branch and I hope they keep it up”.

Recently, customers have been complaining about Zenith bank’s network issue via their social media accounts. A twitter user, @ItsMisola tweeted “Cashless society until you are washing plate at HardRock, because Zenith bank has failed you”

According to customers interaction on social media, they didn’t deserve the “Bank of the year, Nigeria at the Banker Awards, 2022. A twitter user, @ItzAngelThomas tweeted “Whoever gave Zenith bank this award should be jailed”

Another twitter user, @thee_beatrice tweeted “Best in crashed servers” A twitter user, @JojoApril11 also tweeted, “Zenith bank should be awarded the worst bank of the year”
Finally, based on findings, the major issues in banks aren’t limited to Low staffing, failed transactions and network issues, the attitude of the staff towards customers is a major aspect of service delivery. In a highly competitive industry, the best way to win the hearts of customers is to provide top notch services.

It was observed that some banks don’t prioritize staff training, the staff lackadaisical attitude remains contentious in the banking system, efforts from stakeholders especially regulators to eliminate these challenges would lead to enhanced service delivery in the Nigerian banking system which would make it stand out globally.

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