The Financial Express

Avoiding walk-in customer services in banks

Avoiding walk-in customer services in banks

Every day, thousands of people have to go to different branches of commercial banks in the country for withdrawal and deposit of cash for various purposes. The logistics and facilities of branches to provide retail customers with services are, however, still limited. That's why customers in many branches especially in rural and semi-urban areas face some difficulties to get due services. 

The condition of branches of the state-owned commercial banks is generally poor in many areas.  Inadequate space and non-cooperation from some of the banks' staff make things difficult for customers. Private commercial banks are, however, better equipped to deal with customers' requirements. Even rural branches of these banks provide some comfort for customers.

Nevertheless, some branches of private commercial banks in Dhaka and some other big cities are yet to provide some necessary logistics for customers. Despite being well-decorated, air-conditioned and spacious, these branches don't provide adequate and comfortable settings for walk-in customers. Some of these branches provide nice sitting arrangement with sofa sets and tea tables. This may be relaxing for a few customers who need to wait for a longer time to complete their business, not comfortable for most of the customers who need to write deposit slips, cheques or other notes. They need standing desks to complete their necessary writings. It is difficult to understand why some banks don't provide standing desk facilities when there are adequate spaces.

Again, in some banks, customers find carbon inlay of deposit slips poor and thus produce ineligible carbon copy. Also, the layouts of some deposit slips are fashionable with inadequate space to write the details clearly.

Though all these limitations may sound insignificant, these are not irrelevant to banks' customer service domain. A little step may easily address the issues and provide improved services to customers.

No doubt, Covid-19 is going to change the current practice of banking services to a large extent. Banks will try to discourage customers to come to their branches and encourage them to go digital as far as possible. Nevertheless, it is unlikely that branches of banks will see a significant reduction of walk-in customers in the near future. As a large part of the country's monetary transaction is in cash and comprehensive digitalisation of the monetary transaction is still far away, customers' physical presence will continue.

Thus banks need to ensure necessary logistics for customers in all the branches across the country. The state-owned commercial banks need to pay more attention in this regard as branches of these banks have to deal with a large number of customers. The Covid-19 has exposed these bank branches to health risks, where customers are sometimes compelled to compromise on physical distancing. Shabby conditions of some rural branches also put employees of banks at serious health risks.  Cleaning and disinfecting such sites become a priority as not all branches are doing it properly.




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