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Monday, March 03, 2008

Barclays IPB causes CS overload


It seems I must call off the hounds. The Barclays debaclé is over.

By mail yesterday my mother (and I) received written confirmation of everything she had asked for back in the mists of time, aka Feb 2006.

Furthermore, there seems to be a charm offensive on. Devilish cunning, and it works. In the same post, I received my online banking card and passcode etc which I straightway phoned the Isle of Man office to activate and got the charming Gemma who charmed the pants off me and left me satisfied and positively beaming. So, well done Barclays Bank for hiring gems like Gemma and where (and why) have you been hiding her while all the previous aggro was going on?

The same afternoon a bevy of Honkers & Shankers types (Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corp to you) turned up to cruise le jardin and of course they had been following this blog post agog and delicately enquired after progress.

"All done!" beamed maman. "All fixed."

Sighs of relief and Pimms all round.

"Splendid news!" said an accompanying hack from Asiaweek, "You must let Nigel know. One more burden off his to-do list."

Nigel? Mummy and I looked at each other askance.

Silly us. None other than Sir Nigel Rudd, deputy chairman of Barclays Bank *and* chairman of BAA whose hiccups at Terminal 5 must have been an annoying distraction from solving the more pressing problem of trying to drill into staff of the Knightsbridge branch that

Refill of Pimms all round and a toast to one less grey hair in the youthful thatch of Sir Nige.

From there to genial pondering on the ID of the helpful whistle-blowing commentator.

Final verdict was that she is a genteel lady in her mid-40s, middle income hence quite nicely off thank you, living in New Malden with 2 cats and bottle green Mini, divorced but in good terms with ex-hubby who is something in the City.

Alors - another happily ever after story and I must think of dismantling the sulky post below, commencing.

"I had kicked off this mail by commenting that:

"I may be a pain in the neck, but I also deal in fair play."

My whistle-blowing commentator, who resurrected this whole farce, disagrees and asks me to "Yes please remove ALL your rude blog posts and churlish references."

I sympathise with the Commentator but she has not been at the blunt end of the appalling incompetence suffered by me and my mother, neither does she know the personalities involved or the inner workings of messrs Barclays Bank (financiers to the gentry).

These posts will stay up (and grow in ferocity and finger-pointing) until I see the result of helpful caring efficient Mr Kabir's efforts from the 4th floor in *finally* delivering the goods.

If it was just up Mr K, I'm sure I could remove all posts now and pour a large drink to toast merciful relief and conclusion of these endless ballsups and inefficiency.

But it is not. His good work is passed down the line and doubtless will sooner or later land on the desk of the exact same sort who fumbled the Feb 2006 transaction in the first place.

I would say that ignoring basic Barclays office procedure and messing an 86-yr-old woman around is as churlish and rude as anything I might put into mere HTML.

I have dabbled in customer service and training in my time and I like to think there are some professionals out there delivering customer satisfaction as a result of guidelines I drummed into them.

My various postings on this shameful débarclé have been widely read across several industries and one point has been made with grim consistency: doesn't Barclays training include *anything* about intelligent questining of the customer so that everyone knows what's what and what's wanted?

As I used to emphasise, it's not for the customer to know *our* job; not for the customer to know our jargon and modus operandi.

Imagine Mrs Marcus Agius or Mrs Matt Barrett checking with Amazon.co.uk on an important order and having it confirmed that the items would ship in 2-3 days.

"Oh what a relief! You see, it's my husband's birthday the day after tomorrow and I did *so* want it to arrive on The Day."

On hearing those expectations, any good rep would probe further, ask relevant questions, and advise accordingly. In this case, that the timing on the site referred to *transit* not delivery.

That is common sense performance that Bezos' boys and girls deliver and which a certain bank's department did NOT.

Comment *this*, MissMy genial Miss Commenterene is not familiar with the workings of "a certain bank"
She does not know the personalities involved. Who can blame her leaping to the defence of shoddy performance?

When this whole mess is over, when the goods are finally delivered on my mother's request, I will modify all Debarclay posts into a single memorial that I will link to all my CS Trainer colleagues across the globe.

I'm not proud - in my selfless efforts to help others measure and develop internal client satisfaction within their own ranks, I shall place my entire Barclays file at Mr David Simpson's disposal as Exhibit A in his executive training manual on "Client relationship".

It would be negative just to let this post stand mute on the offchance that some disgruntled customer pass by and recognises a fellow victim. And what about the astute Comments? They certainly should not lie hidden 'neath the deBarclay bushel.

But I digress.

I talked with touching optimism about having just ...

... received a most efficient-sounding email from Barclays Isle of Man, first of all confirming receipt of the "3rd Party Application" (which, it turns out, may not be what my mother was asking for ... groan), pointing out omissions and attaching a further document for completion. What was that about a paper-free world?

I shall monitor progress and post it here - with even grimmer precision of detail now that I know my friendly commenting Barclays mole is cheering me on. I might even consider removing bits and pieces of earlier blog posts and "churlish references" to certain un-nameables.

And I will continue to salute the luckless employees who have been landed with the thankless chore of saving their colleagues' bacon over this increasingly UN-funny litany of errors

This looks like the histoire of cockups is over. My mother's banker/journo gardening pals can visit without copies of "The Barclays Dossier" being thrust upon them.

Praise the Lord! Doxa to theo!

Yes please remove ALL your rude blog posts and churlish references.
I like "churlish". All posts will stay up until I have proof positive of the success of stalwart Mr Mohammed Kabir's efforts to end 2 years' incompetence.
Its not just churlish... its just plain CHILDISH to make this a personal attack on someone!
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