Monday, 17 November 2014
TECHNICAL CHALLENGES IN ORGANISATIONS AND COMMUNICATION: A CASE OF THE NIB, SUNYANI BRANCH
On November 11, 2014, I visited the above bank to make some withdrawals. I had been there at 11am and was told that I couldn’t make the withdrawals because the SYSTEM/SERVER was down. So all other operations were ceased. Most of the cashiers were not behind the counter and the customers, not a large number though, were left stranded in the main banking hall calmly glued to their seats. I needed this money very urgently because I had to travel the night of that day to attend to an important appointment.
Later I left the banking hall home because I was informed by one of the officials that the system would not be restored until four hours time. One other customer told me she had reported at the bank for some transactions as early as 8:30am and had been told the same story.
When I returned to the bank at around 3pm to verify whether operations have been restored, nothing had changed. The server was still down. This infuriated the customers, to the extend that some of them would murmur, and complain bitterly about the poor services been rendered by the bank. Authorities and officials of the bank were conspicuously silent during this process. As I sat quietly on one of the seats, I told a lady sitting on my right hand side, “authorities here must step out boldly and tell the customers or their clients something rather than sitting down mute on the matter”. I told her authorities here in this bank owe their customers some explanations as to why the system was failing down. For the purposes of this analysis on PR, these were some of the complains and comments I captured, which came out of the customers when the bank did not resolved whatever challenges confronting them at that point in time;
1. Today it will be Aluta(chaos, mayhem) here.
2. Government has taken all our money away for politics and campaign because NIB is a state owned bank or government have some shares in it.
3. After today, I will close my account
4. It’s only the state/government owned banks who behave this way, the private banks are well organized. The state banks such as Ghana Commercial Bank(GCB) and Agricultural Development Bank(ADB) are worst culprits.
5. Ghana Commercial Bank has beaten National Investment Bank to it today.
6. Won’t they come and explain something to us now?
7. I have one of Ark FM’s presenter’s mobile number I want to call and inform them about this.
8. I have brought my money for you to keep that whenever I need it I will come for it. What business have you to tell me your system is down?
When frustration set in, one customer who was provoked stood up furiously and rushed to demand some explanation from one of the officials at his desk. The official only told him “you wait for a while things will be alright”. In all these ordeal, the Bank Manager was seen walking up and down the hall without uttering a word. I spotted him in an instant, checking whether one of the air-conditioners were working. At a point, I wanted to get out of the hall for fear of facing vandalisation that could possibly emanate from some of the customers, some of whose anger had risen to a peak.
My mind went back to one thing. I told the sister sitting right beside me that, we must be thankful to God the bank is situated in a different environment which is not radical, violent and militant. Else, it could have been another story. Equipment and facilities in the bank's offices could have been vandalised by these seemingly angry customers who were threatening to go on rampage. I wanted to fly out of the banking hall at a point. I felt this was bad customer relations.
LESSONS and ADVISE
I realized the honorable thing was for the officials to have come out to explain issues to the understanding of the worried and concerned customers. These could have calmed tension rather than keeping mute over very serious matters. Yes, money matters are extremely serious matters. When they thought answers were not forthcoming some of them wanted to react in a rather odd and violent manner which could have spelt disaster for the bank’s image and reputation. I hope the authorities of the bank are taking note. Customers must never be taken for granted.