I have no idea how much money Lloyds Bank have spent on their “For the Journey” advertising campaign but I am sure that it’s a lot. I have never really understood the campaign but apparently it’s intended to build a relationship – or emotional engagement – with customers. Personally, I would rather have a relationship with Myra Hindley than my bank – but that’s beside the point.
More to the point is that the messages of these campaigns need to be consistent with the day-to-day activities of the bank. Every customer interaction is a moment of truth which can enhance or destroy that relationship.
Back to Lloyds Bank, with whom I have had an account for 39 years. A couple of weeks ago I wrote to them requesting that a savings account be closed down and that the balance be transferred to a higher interest account. Their reply to me said that they had no record of my signature on their database and that I would have to prove my identity or else they would ignore my request.
39 years and they don’t know who I am? 39 years and they have no record of my signature? Think about that for a moment. All of those signed cheques which have presumably passed through their hands un-checked. And what about the money-laundering implications?
I suspect that the reality of this situation is a suspension of initiative and common sense. Or perhaps it is another short term example of cost-cutting at the expense of customer service.