In the retail market, you cannot Ignore Client Experience

Anyone who lived in Nigeria in the early 1990’s to mid 2000 will attest that GT Bank was the hallmark of professionalism and banking.

The lure to work in GT’s professional environment led to corporate arrogance of offering employment to experienced hires at a lateral position level. I even applied for employment and was offered a job after meeting with Segun Agbaje (over 10 years ago) but i declined due to personal reasons.

That was the GT Bank that I know and encouraged me to open an account prior to searching for greener pastures.

Fast forward to 9 years after, I returned back due to a bereavement and realized what used to represent a beacon of banking industry has turned to a monumental failure: the question is why?

Is this a failed retail strategy?

My observation in banking halls of GT Bank shows that Client experience was at the lowest and it seems the once respected culture has vanished. Banking halls were filled with frustrated customers who were finding it difficult to gain access to their hard earned money- Incredible!.

On the other side, I was at two other banks for comparison and what was outstanding to me was the difference in ambience of banking halls and better client experience.

This was not an isolated case of one branch as i visited three branches (Lekki, Awolowo Road Ikoyi, Ikosi Branch, Magodo).

What happened GT Bank? A failed retail strategy.

It felt like the branches were buried in massive confusion of dealing with retail clients and poor tools to work which included massive paper work to sign up for product and services with limited automation e.g. Same account product information has to be completed 2-3 times to sign-on for different product (ATM Card, Online banking etc).

In my opinion the following needs to be quickly addressed:

  1. Training of branch staff about client Experience.
  2. Mystery shopping to gain deep understanding of client issues.
  3. Online solution to address the line up at customer service desk to reduce waiting time (existing average of 1-1.5hours).
  4. Reducing/simplifying the form the onerous forms completion to sign up for product and services.