One of the industries that care even less about their customers than other industries lately is the banking industry. Globally banks are there to find ways in which they can play with our money and eventually keep it.
I have been a customer of Doral Bank since I became an employee in 2006 (I left in 2007) when I returned from working in New York City. Doral pretty much obligates their employees to open up an account with them and receive their paycheck via Direct Deposit into their account. I would have opened one anyway because I like to support those that support me and in this case they provided me with a paycheck for working in their IT Audit department for a short period of time.
Yesterday while watching Kitchen Table Talks on the Pulse my friend @bobburg mentioned how any company accomplishes to get your money by buying a product or service. They main factor is that you exchange money in any transaction because you think that you are getting the same value or more for what you are exchanging.
What do we do when we feel there is less value?
Over the years I have seen how Doral’s customer service has deteriorated to a point where in many occasions I have felt they have taken my money and I ended receiving less value of what I have given to them.
For the past 5+ years I have done my banking with them which means I have been loyal, referred customers, and always looked at the positive aspect that banks like Banco Popular care even less about their customers than doral.
Finally I came to terms that Doral is probably not going to recover anytime soon from the addiction of treating their customers very badly. Yes I called it an addiction because I am sure top-level management knows the issue they have and they decide to ignore it. Given the fact that Doral is no longer an active customer of mine and my relationship is as a customer which has complained previously about several issues I decided to take action expressing myself here on my blog.
The Experience That Triggered This Post
On veteran’s day I was happy to see that their branches where open and strangely I visited two branches in the same day since I had to deposit a check and was not sure if I would have time to get the other check from my client before the branches closed.
My first visit was to my favorite Doral Branch at carr. 14 where the staff is friendly and the branch manager always goes out of his way to make sure my banking needs are met. Armando would do way more to address my complaints but management really does not give him the power to correct many of the Issues and as any employee his has to follow the bank’s policies and procedures. My first visit to a branch was business as usual and I got in and out of the branch in minutes since it was pretty much empty.
My second visit was after meeting with a client that handed me a check and I was closer to the Doral Fagot Ave. branch where I have had many customer service issues in the past. The staff there is overworked, there are never enough tellers, and this branch does have a lot more foot traffic.
I went into the trapdoor at the entrance and got trapped. I spent a lot more time than I should have since the person that was suppose to be up front opening the door appeared to be talking with co-workers. When she finally realized that someone was in the trap door she walked over with no sense of urgency and opened the door without apologizing for the delay. In other words I should have been glad she finally opened the door instead of her feeling guilty for her lack of attention. The same person once she opened the door walked back instead of staying up front and continued her conversation with co-workers.
The bank was fairly empty and I still had to wait for the teller to call me up to the podium. I see this all the time where the teller appears to be doing something else and does not even acknowledge you are there.
Two more people tried to get into the bank and the delay of not opening the trap door when the person enters caused two people in a hurry to get stuck. When the same individual realized that two people where stuck instead of recognizing it was part her fault for not being up in the front opening the trap door she started screaming at the customers coming in that it should be one person at a time. I do understand the trap door has its rules posted but how can you enforce rules on customers when as a representative of the bank you are not following your own rules.
I quickly asked the teller if that was how the staff at that branch treated their customers. Instead of apologizing for the behavior of his co-worker his reply was to point the finger at the person screaming at the customers and pretty much said that had nothing to do with him. The problem was that it had to do with him because they both represent Doral Bank.
Doral’s Other General Management Issues
I left the branch and instead of coming in an out it took me a lot longer than it should and made me leave with many questions as to why I continue banking with this organization. I also tweeted my discomfort with the bank.
Doral does such a poor job listening to clients everywhere including online that it took them various tweets and a conversation with another follower and 22+ hours later they finally responded with a generic tweet asking me to email them.
Poor handling of Social Media
Individuals handling social media requested me to email them with a generic response after responding in 22+ hours. I have sent my complaints into Doral previously and clearly it is a way for customers to vent without any further action taken. Once I told them I would complain publicly they also requested me to follow them on twitter. If I was clearly not happy with the brand why would I want to follow them on twitter.
I take a different approach when someone complains in social media. I quickly research the person and try to find a way to connect with the person. In my case I have a link directly to my blog that offers multiple ways for anyone to send me a private message one being my contact form. Instead of them making me feel that I they care they wanted me to do the legwork for them. If a customer is already unhappy with you why would you make him go through extra steps without putting the extra effort yourself.
Issues that need to be Fixed
If Doral wants me to stay along as a customer and get to the point to start referring them as I use to in the past they would need to do the following:
Cutting Down My Wait Time at Branches
There are many ways where the bank can enhance the banks offering of services where it can be convenient to visit a branch. For this to happen Doral would need to probably hire personnel like most of the individuals in my favorite branch at Ponce Carr. 14, which are service oriented. If they could clone Armando or find someone with his character I guarantee they would do a lot better at customer service.
Improve The Online Banking Offering
For over two years I paid for having access to online banking on my business account that I canceled recently out of frustration. The funny thing was that this online banking tool only allowed me to transfer into accounts of the same bank and did not do any of the basic online banking features other banks give out for free. This obligated me to visit the branch more than I would like. This also causes longer lines because individuals have no other way of creating transactions. I would recommend having a free online banking for their customers because charging for an inefficient one is being Penny Wise and Dollar Foolish.
If I hold up an employee or the manager for 30 minutes 4 times a month with things I could have done online I am more than sure that it costs the bank more than what they are currently charging for online banking software. Don’t penalize those that save the bank money by charging them more.
Take Action on Customer Complaints
I have submitted many complaints and I know of many others who have done the same. Sadly Doral really stays focused on their plans filtering any complaints and really not taking actions on complaints from normal customers like you and me that make the biggest part of their customer base. In my case I have my business and personal accounts with them and getting through to them is like talking to a wall many times.
Increase Presence or Remove ATM Fees
Doral has very little presence in the south part of the Island. So either they increase the presence or they replenish at least a few complimentary ATM Fees a month to make up for not being able to get your cash at an ATM Close by.
I want to see Doral fixing many of the issues they have had for years.
I also want Doral to understand that because I expected better from them is why I took the time to write this post. This might seem as an attack but it clearly is my last attempt for them to realize that they need to take another course if they want to keep me as a customer.
Not only have I been a customer but I also put my trust in them by recommending people to do banking with Doral, which are currently as unhappy as I am.
Let’s hope that this post serves not only Doral but other banks that they need wake up or if not I probably will be doing my banking elsewhere.