Feb
7

My wife does most of our banking so I rarely have the need to visit our bank. But, I had a check I needed to deposit so I went by Suntrust on my way into the office yesterday. I was really surprised to be greeted by a boarded up customer service window and a small screen with a camera.

I can't think of any good reason why Suntrust would make the decision to remove its employees from the view of the customer and shove them in a back room somewhere. Yea, so there's a camera where I can see the person handling my account but that's hardly what I consider a good experience. I drove up and was greeted by a screen showing nothing but me on it. There was no banking representative to greet me and ask me how my morning was going. Nothing. I put my check and deposit slip into the canister and sent if off. About a minute a half later a lady appeared on the screen and asked me if I wanted to deposit my check. My response: "Um well, there's a deposit slip in your hand no?" She turned the screen off causing me to reappear and went about her business. A minute or so later the canister returned and she came back on to say thanks.

Unbelievable! It was a completely horrible experience and I felt like I had the plague or some airborne illness. "We're sorry, you're not important enough to actually have people to greet you and we can longer show our employees to you through a normal teller window." Suntrust, if you believe you are somehow increasing employee efficiency (or making their job safer) and NOT harming your customer service, you need to think again. While this is just ONE incident and one small little thing I've learned about Suntrust I'm considering moving my business somewhere else. After all, if the executives of Suntrust make decisions like this - that are negatively affecting the customer - what else will they decide?

Here's some photos of what I saw.



Aaron West's Gravatar
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This entry was posted by Aaron West on February 7, 2009 at 2:23 PM. It was filed in the following categories: Personal. It has been viewed 5685 times and has 13 comments.

13 Responses to Suntrust Customer Service Takes a Step Backwards

  1. "Open the pod bay doors, HAL."

  2. somehow some people think less is more, obviously they could either not find good enough staff to have on display or are inept at training. in reality they probably want to save costs by having one person multi task - however the result is reduced customer satisfaction

  3. Steve Howard

    Well, at least it makes it easier to avoid the bank robbers!

    To be honest, this is the 'logical' extension to drive-through banking - something I refuse to use.

  4. @Steve - I disagree. I don't believe moving from live tellers to video-based tellers is logical at all. It's certainly not logical to reduce the customer experience to exchanging words over a microphone and camera. It's certainly not logical to board up the window where real people used to stand, wave at you and smile when you pulled up. It's not logical to expect that the same level of personal touch can be delivered over a 4x5 screen versus behind a glass window.

    There's not much logic to the change at all.

  5. Steve Howard

    But allowing customers to choose not to get out of their cars and walk into the bank is logically followed by moving the tellers out of sight (or site, or out of state for all you know) ... if you (or others) don't want to face the tellers, why should they face you? Busineses are more than happy to make decisions that make *their* life easier and increase their profits, regardless of what customers prefer. That's why mailboxes are at the end of the drive - it doesn't help you, but it sure helps the post office.

    I could go on :-) But, as you know, I was born and lived most of my life i na different country, so it's easy for me to see things in a different way from you ;-)

  6. Steve Howard

    By the way - I wrote 'logical' in quites deliberately. I actually agree with you, but the business making the decision has a different perspective.

  7. @Steve - Seeing things differently is what makes the world go round you know? The only thing I'd add to what you just posted is that I don't use the drive up teller to avoid the bank employees, I use it because it's quicker than going inside. So they're ultimately offering a good service by having a drive through, but they diminish the value of the service when they remove the one key factor, people.

  8. Wow. You have drive-through banks?

  9. @duncan - No, we don't have drive through banks, this was a joke. ;-)

  10. Banks have tellers? Heh. I use ATM for deposits.

  11. Robert Wilson

    Steve,
    I to am a business man as well as a consumer. I believe that if I do not care about by customers well being then I would isolate myself from myself from them, so it is easier to say no.
    Part of my small business philosophy is I want to do a good job, don't lie or cheat, greet them at the grocery store and make in living in the balance/. Notice any strange new bank fees show up in your account statement lately that you did not see coming?
    Therefore, I see companies like ST move away from customer service and choose to be less accessible in a wide range of so called services.

  12. Jeannie Holmes

    @steve and Aaron being a WWT I understand Steves attitude, but see being raised in America and BORN here there use to be a thing of CUSTOMER SERVICE, TRUST, AND HONOR! LOOK ME IN THE EYE WHEN YOU TALKING TO ME !, shake my hand! greet me! sorry Steve that you dont grab this concept it is a western thing that means alot. SUNTRUST HAS CHANGED IN TWO YEARS FROM WHAT US WESTERNS ARE USE TO this is one reason that our economy is changing (and the other countries). WE THE LITTLE PEOPLE WOULD INTERFERE IN A BANK ROBBERY OR ANY HARM DONE TO OUR FAV. TELLER! SOME OF THE THINGS THEY DO IS OUT OF DESPERATION THEY ARE DOWNSIZING ALL THE TIME AND WANT US TO PAY THE EXTRA FEES! WHEN YOU TREAT US LIKE CRIMINALS OR OUT OF TOWNERS/FOREIGNERS? STEVE AND SUNTRUST NEEDS TO MAKE A DECISION- CAUSE WE CAN KEEP OUR MONEY AT HOME! WAIT LET ME CHECK THE LOCAL LAWS-THEY CHANGE TO FIT THE AVERAGE BUSINESS MAN NOW, NOT THE LOCALS/CITIZENS OF U.S.

  13. Wow, why all the yelling Jeannie? (all caps) Sorry all.