By Karen Kirk, customer service manager at AIB (GB), Nottingham.
Customer Service is on everyone’s lips with most service providers promising a second-to-none experience to provide an edge over the competition. I think we’d all agree that good customer service can be achieved by putting the customer first and keeping it simple, and yet we continue to hear people expressing dissatisfaction with the customer experience they receive across the a whole range of services and sectors. So how do we at AIB (GB) approach the vital area of customer service?
At AIB (GB), we pride ourselves on the depth and longevity of the relationships we have with our customers and their advisors. For the last three years, we have won the “Business Moneyfacts Best Service From a Business Bank” award. This doesn’t happen by chance. We know that, as a service led company, we offer our customers a service promise. The service expectations our customers have of us, and the way we deliver on our service promise, have a huge impact on the strength of our brand in the eyes of our customers.
I have worked at AIB (GB) for the past 26 years and I believe that customer service is as vital today as it has ever been. It’s certainly true that social media, together with real time feedback have made it easier for customers to express their views on service – be they positive, negative or neutral – and in many ways this gives the customer a louder voice than they had in the past. Looking specifically at banking, the recent introduction of an industry wide account switching service has made it easier for customers to act on their dissatisfaction and, consequently, it is crucial that we at AIB (GB) renew our service promise, and deliver on it, daily.
In addition, we recognise that our customers now expect access to up to date, user-friendly and reliable banking technology as a matter of course. Whilst an important and necessary part of our offering, it’s also true that the use of technology reduces one to one contact between our customers and ourselves. It is therefore crucial that we go out of our way to maintain close contact with our customers to ensure that the service we are providing remains at the correct level.
Here at AIB (GB), our customers have the direct dial numbers/emails of their relationship managers and assistant relationship managers. There is always someone in the office who knows and understands their needs and who will be able to respond to their queries within 24 hours, usually much quicker. With no sales pressures, our team have the time to genuinely understand the business and service needs of our customers through regular and meaningful engagement. This is key to us delivering on our service promise.
So many companies offer quality customer service when they first take on a new customer but that can sometimes fade as other matters get prioritised. At AIB (GB), we focus on valuing our customers as much in year 10 or year 20 as we do in year 1, recognising as we do that our customers are our greatest advocates and it is hugely satisfying for me to be still providing our services to customers who have been with AIB (GB) for 25 years plus.
If you would like further information as to how our services may benefit your business, please contact me at our Nottingham Business Centre.
Allied Irish Bank (GB)
Park View House
58 The Ropewalk
Nottingham NG1 5DW