Many of you who regularly follow my thoughts would know that I often put Standard Chartered Bank out there as a good example of a bank that is moving with the times. Their Breeze initiative is still after several years, remains a strong case study.
Launched in summer 2010 and aggressively marketed, industry and consumer reviews have been generally positive. In addition, it has attracted an uncommon amount of attention due to many innovative marketing strategies it used to promote its product, mostly focussing on social media. Standard Chartered Breeze organised a blogger's meet for bloggers to preview Breeze, and it's Twitter campaign to give away a free iPad was extremely successful. To date, Standard Chartered Breeze's twitter page has more than three times the followers than their closest competitor.
I recently opened a business account with Standard Chartered after hearing that they've manage to translate the experience of Breeze into a Business offering called Straight2Bank. Sounded promising, Standard Chartered has the credentials to attract such a perception. Today, I experienced something that is all too common in banking... experience inconsistency. My Straight2Bank pack arrived in the mail, with codes, tokens and secret passwords... levels of authentication that show a clear discount from evolutions in digital identity, consumer expectations and user experience. But what frustrated me wasn't hugely complex authentication & security model. Upon my attempt to follow multiple documents detailed visual instructions, supporting emails, and SMS, I was caught with an authentication error. One that prevented me from completing my first login. So I called the support number on the straight2bank Welcome Letter.
I explained my challenges, and asked for support. I was then instructed to open the Straight2Bank website in Internet Explorer. I potentially responded that Internet Explorer is not on my Macbook, can she help with with Safari. When I received a response that completely blew me away. It was suggested that if I want to use Standard Chartered's Straight2Bank I should consider buying a modern computer with Internet Explorer installed, and that she would be unable to assist me further.
How is such a response even possible in today's world... surely those the designed the Customer Service scripts have heard of Mac OS. Or did the team that built the iPad & iPhone version of Straight2Bank not meet the SME Customer Service Team?
This frustrates me... consistent customer experience is critical, yet its a regular poisonous occurrence that the bank silo model continually ignores. Why is it such a surprise that a retail banking consumer might expert a similar if not the same experience when they interact with the Business Banking division? Remember business owners are also consumers.
Frustrating day... now after going through the 5 week process to open a simple account, I am faced with the decision of finding a business bank that's actually heard of Mac OS.
Any recommendations in Singapore?