Early in the evening, I went to the Bank of Maldives Baazaaru branch at STO Trade Centre. I was there to change the date of a cheque that I had given to deposit money, as I had written down a wrong date. I went into the bank – thanks to evening banking introduced by the bank for the convenience of customers.
As I walked in I noticed that there were several people taking tokens from a mechanical token dispenser for the electronic queueing system. The buttons on the gadget did not have any labels. I pressed one button and I got 2368 and when I pressed another I got 5460. There was no information counter or no one except those at the service counters; and it would have been inapporpriate for me to break the queue and approach one of the service counters to find out which counter I should approach. There was "a guard like looking person" at the back who could only be reached by yelling, if I did.
After a long wait (which was not a problem) one of my numbers came up on the queue display and I approached the counter shown on display. When I told the girl at the counter the reason for my coming there, she (who had no smile, gave no welcome eye contact) simply pulled a long face. She then went about asking someone at the back about me. She was sitting at a desk a little behind the counters’ row. She "yelled" at me to ask whether I was a particular person. Then I said my name, she came up and directed me to the next counter and I got my check, changed the date, returned it and left. The final two transactions were friendly, appropriate and pleasant. The tone and vocabulary were polite.
I couldn’t help wondering how the Bank of Maldives could overlook nuances of customer service and public relations. A culture of respect and diligent organization – one would expect, would be a given in banking services today. But it definitely was not at the Bank of Maldives Baazaaru branch. No wonder I did not notice any BoM participants at the Ron Kaufman "Superior Customer Service" seminar held in Bandos on June 30, 2007.
It is the mindset and a complete set of attitudes. But when you are exposed to superior service and care, it is not only disturbing to undergo the likes of my experience this evening; but shocking that such is the state of one of the wealthiest, best manned public companies in the country.
Mohamed Shihab / Smile and Let Smile