My Bank is Nothing Like This.

I've written about the inappropriate levels of customer service at my bank before in My Bank Doesn't Understand Customer Service. That time I didn't name them but there's no avoiding it this time.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has been running a TV ad campaign with the slogan Determined to be different. Their latest ad on high TV rotation I've embeded below. Take a moment to watch it as the rest of this article will be referencing the ad.



The first thing that struck me as odd was the Banking Concierge who meets you at the door?

The closest my bank has come to a Concierge is when I wrote previously about my banks Customer Service staff (see aforementioned article link above) accosting me with a "Hello, how are you? Just going to the Tellers are we?" greeting.

They didn't greet me at the door but kind of spoke to me from the Customer Service Desk before I could get past to the tellers. I can only imagine most people gave the same some what confused response I did at the time as this practice of greeting people who didn't actually approach the Customer Service Desk was dropped rather quickly.

Moving on to the main character of the commercial, Sara Kennedy, who is attempting to break the world record in triple bank transaction...what the? Let's imagine this was you or I.

We're greeted at the door by the bank concierge who assesses our needs, directing us to the banking consultant who can help us open a term deposit. He then escorts us to a free teller, as the other people in the bank go wild clapping at our progress (how many happy, smiley people have you ever seen queuing in a bank?).

At the teller we go for the 'unthinkable, a single transfer, double deposit with a triple cash back twist'... we'll get back to that in a moment... as the concierge now escorts us back down the main straight leading out of the bank, completing our banking in record time.

One can't help but think that all this could have been achieved faster without some fictional concierge getting between you and the Customer Service desk.

Not only that but how hard is banking anyway that the bank needs to hire a concierge just to 'assess your needs'. Isn't that what the customer service people and banking consultants are for? Who the hell is this extra guy escorting us around the bank in record time?

Have a look at the ad again and this time imagine the concierge is wearing a badge labeled 'Security'. Suddenly you see this ad in a whole new light. That guy is actually watching your every move to make sure you're not stealing the money! Think about it. He's looking over Sarah's shoulder every step of the way.

Back to that transaction. So just what the f**k is a single transfer, double deposit with a triple cash back twist? My guess is it's a transfer of money into your account from some other account, followed by two cash deposits... after that the triple cash back is a mystery. Did Sara get triple the money back that she deposited into her term deposit in cash? I've no idea? I should probably go ask that bank concierge - except he doesn't exist in my local branch?

This ad, as well as many of the other ads in the Commonwealth bank's latest ad campaign, which you can view in a playlist on the bank's Youtube channel, are meant to be a tongue in cheek. Unfortunately they fail because so much of what is described in many of them just doesn't happen as part of the real customer experience.

Take this video from the series titled 'Call You Back'...



It starts out all well and good but when, if ever, has not one but four Commonwealth Bank employees turned up unannounced at anyones house, for any reason ever, that wasn't related to a foreclosure on a house mortgage?

In essence this particular ad campaign reinforces the notion that banks live in 'bank world', which is a place where the customer experience is unlike anything you've ever experienced in a bank on this planet.

It almost feels like the Commonwealth Bank isn't targeting these brand ads at customers at all. It seems like they're intended to target other banks. The message? We're making so much profit we can actually advertise the kind of customer service we provide in bank world (rather than the real world) and real people will still bank with us.

The sad part is, they're probably right. As much as I complain about my bank it's just easier to stick with them than move. I've been with my bank for 24 years now. It's not even the bank that's keeping me there. It's everything else I have linked to my accounts. Were I to close my accounts I'd be making a small mountain of admin work for me to sift through. Who wants that?

I think my bank knows this too. That's why they're laughing at us, not with us, with this ridiculous branding campaign that has nothing at all to do with a great banking experience, great products or even spotlighting actual satisfied customers.

They're doing what banks do best when it comes to everything from interest rate rises to bank fees... they just make sh*t up and know the customer will just have to wear it.

Now where's my triple cash back twist?!
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