Tag: #buildingrelationships

It’s all about communication…this might be a bit of a rant!

Recently I have been having a challenging time trying to get some aspects of my online business bank account to work.

I have always been a great fan of the bank, open 8 till 8 and on Sundays, “award winning” toilets and they even have biscuits for dogs (I don’t have a dog but I appreciated the effort)…and they used to have a working website. If anyone asked if I would recommend this bank I would say Yes, the service is great and they seem to be very customer-focussed.

The bank is very proud that they have improved their website, which is lovely, but it’s not improved for me. About 5 weeks ago I found that I couldn’t pay a bill online, but I kept trying and it became a bit of a quest. Then four weeks ago I rang them to ask for help. I thought I was going to be a while so I had a coffee with me, little knowing I would have time for a 3-course meal. 1½ hours later and having been passed to three different people I finally managed to speak to someone who said he would raise an IT ticket and the issue, whatever it was, would be resolved in 72 hours. He also sorted the payment that needed doing immediately but not the one that needed to be paid next month.

I then went on holiday for 11 days and during my “catching up project” I again tried to schedule the outstanding payment and again failed. So with coffee, some admin work and a positive attitude I rang them again. 2½ hours later and having spoken to 5 more people, including, at one point, being randomly put through to the fraud department (No it really is my account I assured them) and was put through to someone else, someone gave me a mobile number for my ‘relationship manager’.

Later he rang me and said “Yes some people are having this problem” and I asked why the people on the helpline didn’t know about this, nor did any of the service status websites. His answer was “I don’t know!” You might have heard my yell of frustration, it went on for a while. He then tried to give me a list of tasks that would make it easier for him to help me. At this point my heels dug in and I reminded him that I was the customer and he should email me the list to ensure clarity. Yesterday I went, by appointment, I visited my local bank. Here I was helped by a young man who took me through various security things. I was assured that this would be sorted in 72 hours, but said I should try it on an ad hoc basis before that. We agreed a time and date to meet if the problem persisted.

This morning I logged in and guess what…I can log in but no longer gain access to my business account!

The quest continues. The people I spoke to tried, in the main, to be helpful. My frustration however is with a company that knows there is a problem, because of changes they have made, for some customers, and doesn’t communicate this to the people at the front end who are dealing with customers problems. I tried to find the contact details of the CEO, Dan Frumkin, without any success, so I tried to find the same for all the senior managers, again I failed. So they don’t know that this particular fan has changed her opinion about their company and will be actively telling people not to use their bank, including this Blog.  Oh and the bank? Metro Bank.

Thank you for reading and easing my pain, here is my gift to you: my Top 20 networking tips just follow this link: ebn.uk.com and complete the form to receive your copy.

Have fun,

Glenys

Don’t talk in code…unless you are a spy.

Recently I was sending an email and used C/F instead of Chelmsford. The recipient said that she had taken some thought to work out what it meant. Fortunately, I know the person well but imagine if I hadn’t and had caused her this inconvenience.  I think we all use “shorthand”, usually work based, and assume people understand, but the reality is that we are potentially building barriers, and this doesn’t help with building relationships. Because communicating well is one way we build relationships.

This applies to not only how we communicate verbally but also in writing, and particularly how we communicate on our website. I can’t tell you7 the number of times I’ve gone to look at someone’s website and come away no better informed than when I started about what they do. Management speak, buzz words (Some of which never seem to disappear and are still incomprehensible to outsiders), and industry specific phrases which people outside that particular industry don’t come across. My C/F for example is Post Office shorthand which I last used professionally 25 years ago.

Yes people can ask, query, question but how many do? Most just move on to someone else, another person, another supplier, and we might be the person who could have been that supplier. What to do? My solution for long pieces of communication (Websites, policies, strategy reports) is to get someone to write it who does that professionally, for shorter pieces (Blog) is to get to someone outside my industry and ask them to read it. I ask the questions 1. Is it worth reading and 2. Do they understand what I am trying to communicate? Unfortunately, when communicating by, say, emails or when talking this separate check is impossible or would be too unwieldy. So, I try to be aware of talking in code but as my recent contact proved, I sometimes get it wrong.

What are your thoughts?

To help build our relationship, please accept my gift of 20 Top networking tips Just complete the form to download your copy.

Have fun, stay safe

Glenys

It all happens subliminally.

Recently I was talking to a business contact about someone we both knew. He said “Oh I’d never refer him to my contacts, he’s always late and disorganised” I was surprised since I also thought the same thing. I was interested to work out why we had come to the same conclusion but we both didn’t really know why.

We discussed it further and realised that it was based on two things:

1 Arriving late at meetings, even virtual ones!

Now, neither of us had actively thought about this individually, but both of us thought he was always late, without being able to say when he had been late, how late and how often. We just both thought he was always late, and we wouldn’t make any introductions because we assumed he’d turn up late to any meeting.

2 Not prepared.

Again, we realised that we hadn’t made a decision about this, we just thought he was ill-prepared. My contact said he never came to a meeting and seemed to have thought about the meeting. In addition, my contact had once seen him give a presentation at an event and he didn’t seem to know what was coming next…and it was his presentation! Oh, and he had turned up late!

So why is any of this important?

We need to know that we all make judgements: “Wouldn’t have put those shoes with that dress” at a base level to “Wouldn’t refer him/her to my best client” at a much more important level. The problem is that some judgements we know we are making, even if we try not to.  Some judgements we make subliminally and those are the ones that are much more difficult to deal with.

The important thing is to know that subliminally we are all being judged, and so perhaps we need to behave as if we are trying to make a first impression.

What do you think?

If you want more networking tips go to: https://blog.ebn.uk.com/tips-on-networking.html

Have fun, stay safe

Glenys