DBS has been having a terrible time settling its highnote case. It’s reputation has taken a huge blow because of the way it has reacted to this incident coupled with the fact that this quarter’s earnings have been the worst since 2005.
They have responded to the highnote incident by reporting some of their relationship managers to the MAS, by going through consumer profile to see if the product fits the consumer and willing to turn some away and internally retrenching its workers.
Whilst Michael is amused by the struggles DBS faces in communications on the differences in announcing the layoffs and handling the highnotes issue, there is another concern which is the way DBS has. It has a very very poor customer service or front line office people to handle any situation.
You can see the details of one customer who had problems just signing up for a credit card. As of last week, investors still had not heard from the bank about the mini bonds issue and were clearly unhappy by holding protest talks at the speaker’s square. While the MAS has been trying to calm these investors, DBS has taken a backseat by focusing its communications on the layoffs.
Internally, the relationship managers are mulling over selling. They are wondering if the new policy of going though consumers profile would prove to have less commission for them.
It’s a sticky situation they find themselves in now and I’m wondering if any earlier social media attempts to allow open communications to the public and any internal social media communications within the company would work for a bank?
I know the various arguments about banks using such tools. Not professional enough, company secrets leaked, etc. But the fact that it has branded itself as the people’s bank, shouldn’t there be a medium to improve its crappy customer service?
I’m sure many of us have heard of dell hell and how it transformed its customer service with the use of twitter and blogs. Yet would this same approach work for a bank?
Yet i have my reservations due to 2 issues.
- The consumer profile of the investors (Some include the elderly who are clearly not computer savvy enough)
- The value of the mini bonds which can run up to hundreds of thousands and are people’s life saving (Not a laptop)
Yet would it not have been great if there was a common platform to trash this out. Given that the MAS has responded much more openly than before and that consumers need a better customer service to register their complains via twitter groups or blog posts (I’m sure there are common issues and these can be grouped together)
While i know Kim would argue about setting up a ‘dark site’ in times of a crisis, I’m wondering if any social media attempts prior to the highnotes incident would have made this crisis more bearable? Or because of the nature of the banking industry and the nature of the crisis victims (The elderly), would this not work?
Comments and feedback are welcome!