Maker, Manager and Admin…


Plans and reality…

I spent the first day of this week in an excited state over going to the bank – who swiftly sent me home – to phone them back – and then an excited call to an apparently interested call centre opp… Then the paper work arrived.

I decided to leave it till yesterday to read it through and then I wanted to get on with HA. There was some confusion to say the least over one of the forms and two phone calls to  the bank did not rectify this  ( the question was, ‘should I write ‘no’ or mark ‘X’ for negative’ ) I had to send the forms to my Accountant to do 🙁  Then I started looking at the two lots of forms for business Credit Cards – which I didn’t want anyway – and couldn’t work out if a Debit Card was issued that wasn’t also a credit card or not – two more phone calls and an email – answer was that I could have a Debit Card and didn’t have to apply for the Credit Card – so I binned those forms – the tiny request for the Debit card was well hidden in the form. Then I started noticing spelling mistakes in their form and so I rang again – it would have been quicker for them to send me a blank form as each time it was redone they made a new mistake = a second afternoon in increasingly long queues listening to music designed to make you get cross as it built to a rumbling crescendo.

The result is that I have reduced the paper work considerably to mostly just having to sign and date at weekend and then post back – I think my prediction of several weeks to set this up will be correct – and I guess they could still refuse me…And this with a bank I have been trading with all my adult life!

I’m not impressed with the system at all – going in to a local bank and seeing someone face to face – who fills these things in with you – and talks to you about your business seems to me to be necessary – which is what I did 30 years ago when I first went self employed. Even  having the same bank contact – and not a carousel of  call centre staff – would be better. Banks underestimate their human resources skills in assessing and quantifying – not sure why I am surprised as the counter staff at my local branch repeat the same script to all the customers – without customer recognition built in to it – which reduces them to a recorded greeting and reduces customers to irritated grunting. It takes most coffee shop staff how long to recognise a returning customer and their preferences?  The customer recognition skill of humans is way more efficient than explaining to every customer that they could be banking on line or repeatedly explaining machinery they will never chose to use – no matter how busy the bank. I personally doubt that the human resources are more expensive than these machines and at some point when the population is so under employed there is no investment by them – or use of banks – then it is ultimately self destructive; call me a Late Luddite – but then I’m a 21st Century small scale Farmer and living not that far from Tolpuddle… What do I know about the future?

Business Time = Maker + Manager + Admin AND Customer.

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