Monday, September 20, 2021

Visit to a bank

Image courtesy: Pixabay

Recently I went to a bank to clarify some doubts regarding closing a second account I have with them.

It is a salary account, which was opened when I was working at a different office. That account is now practically inactive because there is no money coming into it now.

At the bank, I explained to the executive the doubts I had about closing that account. She didn't have all the answers and consulted one of her colleagues. 

Meanwhile, she had a look at my other account (not the one I wanted to close) and suggested that I open a fixed deposit. 

(Money in a fixed deposit account earns a slightly higher rate of interest, depending on the duration of the deposit, compared to the normal savings bank account.)

I was a bit taken aback by that suggestion since I was at the bank to resolve an issue and not to open a fixed deposit account.

I told her that there's not much money in that account to make opening a fixed deposit worthwhile. 

But her argument was: even if it is not much money, why do you want to let it just lie there? Why don't you move it to an account that will get you more interest?

I said I would think over it, and that if I needed to open one, I shall do that myself later at home, at my convenience, via internet banking. 

I also quickly reminded her if her colleague could make any progress with the doubts that I had. She said her colleague was busy and that I would have to wait for five minutes. 

I said that's fine, and that I am in no hurry.

Meanwhile, she broached the topic of the fixed deposit again. But this time, she was more upfront.

"I will get some points if I open a fixed deposit for a customer," she said with a smile.

What she was referring to was: every account she gets opened would fetch her a point, which might help her at the time of periodic performance assessment, and who knows, if she is really successful, she might even win an award!

I thought for a moment. Anyway, it wouldn't entail any loss for me. If at all, it would only be some small gain by way of interest for that pittance I have in that account.

She was evidently pleased with my acquiescence and enthusiastically went through the process of opening my fixed deposit.

So, what about closing that account, for which I come to the bank? 

Well, that didn't happen. Because I was told that I have to sort out some other related issues before I can close it. Maybe in a couple of weeks, it'll be done.

I exited the bank with a sort of satisfaction that it wasn't an altogether wasted effort. If not mine, someone else's work got done.

18 comments:

  1. Ah yes, the upsell. At least she was honest about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I agree. ~grin~ It was kind of you to acquiesce. You must have made her day. Best wishes on getting all your issues resolved. Be well!

      Delete
  2. She wanted to meet her sales goal. Therefore, she sweet talked you into opening a fixed deposit account that you don’t actually need. In the marketing world it is called “Soft Closing the Sale”. But she never resolved the issue for which you went to the bank in the first place.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rajan - Thanks for the comment. I learnt a new term.

      I am by nature very skeptical, and I don't usually fall for sales pitches. The more tempting it is, the less likely I will be persuaded. So, usually, salespersons find it very hard to convince me.

      This was an exception. I agreed because I was anyway planning to open a fixed deposit, only that I wanted to do it at my convenience. So, here too, I asked her to open it for a short duration, so that the money wouldn't be locked up for a long time.

      Delete
    2. You are a wise man. ~nods~ My husband and I are much the same.

      Delete
    3. Hi Darla, Thanks. Glad to know that there are others like me!

      Delete
  3. At the least, this was something that you'll not lose anything. When I go, they try to sell insurance, mutual funds, loans, and their likes that could make good losses - for me :)

    Destination Infinity

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rajesh - Got to be very careful with these sales pitches.

      Delete
  4. Hari OM
    As an ex-banker, I know this so well! Back at the beginning of the century and for seven years before it, I worked for the NAB and there was a change in banking culture around the mid 1990s in OZ whereby we adopted the American idea that a bank is not merely a fininacial utility, but a 'shop' with relevant marketing practices required for the 'products' provided. The tellers had to lure customers into things such as term deposits... or even loans. My job as a lending officer, was to see how much whether the 'leads' actually were valid, but also had a quota of closed deals to reach... even if I thought some of them might not be able to service the loan being provided. Needless to say, honest YAM didn't get on too well meeting targets! The downward pressure to perform eventually resulted in me telling them what they could do with their job. YAM xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Yamini - Thanks a lot for this insight.

      There has been a dilution of values over time, across all segments.

      Part of the problem is the modern management practices, not all of which is good.

      There is now so much of quantifying of everything.

      Success -- in this highly commercialized modern world, where everyone is caught in a rat race -- is determined purely on the basis of numbers and nothing else.

      Quality has been given a go-by.

      Delete
  5. I hate the process of upselling - they used to do it in the banks here too - probably still do, but they're closing so many bank branches that you rarely find one to go into - and the queues are off-putting. The last time we went into a bank to close an account, she told us it would be easier if we did it online - less hassel for us and for her - I guess that was 'down-selling'!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Leanne - Good that they let you do that online, rather than make you wait in the bank itself.

      Delete
  6. Hi Pradeep - like the others ... I'm not happy at being upsold - I've gone in for a query and I want it sorted ... not having to worry about other things. I'm glad you were relatively happy with the outcome - I'd be happier with the bank, if they dealt with what I came in for ... and then I'd be happy helping out. Things change and are changing too - they're not much happy with us using cheques! I do a mix of things ... cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yeah, that sounds about right. They're more focused on selling you something than helping you, because that's what their employers incentivize them to do.

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a palaver, Pradeep. I think you were very nice to acquiesce to her 'sales pitch'. At least she was upfront about it, but even so, I don't like it when people try to sell me something when I'm trying to solve a problem about something else. I hope it all works out for you!

    ReplyDelete
  9. There's a lot of pressure on staff to upsell these days. Some of them are nice about it, others very pushy and judgmental!
    With staff who have provided good service and not asked me, I've actually asked for their employee codes and created fixed deposits, giving them the credit.
    I hope your problem gets resolved.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ms Rodrigues is quite right. There is that pressure. Now more than eer. I like your thoughtful and measured approach to the new account.

    ReplyDelete