Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Crane Bank in Uganda Sucks!!!

I walked into Crane Bank's main branch on Kampala Road today with a simple problem but walked out a whole HOUR later. All I wanted to do was get a new PIN for my ATM card. Now, I would not have had any problem if the fault was entirely mine. The operations of this bank and its staff ensure that everything must move at a snail's pace. If you are a busy person and are looking for a bank in Kampala that can serve you fast, don't go to Crane Bank.
Here's exactly why:
  1. After queuing behind three people to be served by a snail of a young woman in their Crane Access Customer Service Centre for 18 minutes and just as I am next, she (the snail) pulls out a birthday card and, right there in the presence of us customers, she starts to write in it. And she took her time at it too, about 2 minutes. On average young snail woman takes about 7 minutes to serve 1 customer.
  2. At one point, she did a very smart thing. She consulted with her neighbour about a letter of recommendation for a customer that was not addressed to the bank manager - a "To Whom It May Concern". Unbelievable, but the neighbour advised quite loudly, "THROW IT AWAY. LET HER TAKE IT TO WHOM IT IS ADDRESSED!". She didn't give a damn who was listening. Young snail woman did another smart thing - she consulted someone more superior and he okayed the use of the letter of recommendation! All of this was taking place while the queue grew longer and longer.
  3. Then there is the habit of staff talking for long periods on phone while serving customers. I don't even want to go there. It is disgusting. It makes one feel like they are a nuisance to the staff.
  4. And there is something I can't comprehend. After depositing cash(which comes after another looooong wait in a queue), one has to wait on the side to have their copy of the deposit slip returned to them. Apparently, the deposit slip, after being acknowldged by the teller, and details entered into a computer, has to be taken somewhere else prompting another wait. This is an ancient style of operation! It would be a bit of a relief if the teller would explain what is going on to a baffled a customer, but all they do is stare at their papers and computer screens, and never say a word. This is RUDE! The only time I saw a smile on the face of the teller who served me today was when she was interrupted by a security guard while served a customer!
  5. Why in God's name did they fit those space-age type of doors that make one feel like they are entering a space rocket if they cannot maintained them? This things keep jamming every now and then. I am not sure they are safe anymore.

In a nutshell, Crane Bank needs to work on its customer relations because they are sick. I'll give it to them, they know how to hire good looking girls but they are nothing if they are not well trained in handling people and how to behave. Crane Bank is a cold place. It seems that the staff are always reminded that if they smile they will have their salaries cut! Without good customer relations, the people gaining most from their marketing drives are the media, not Crane Bank. It is a pity that the ads don't match the actual products and service. Not even Aldrine Nsubuga, whatever his credentials, can help if the customers are not treated well. GROWING TO BE GLOOMY AND SLOW should be their motto.

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