In December, Celent surveyed a panel of North American banks and credit unions to assess the current and likely future state of retail and business banking channel systems. The report is chock full of fascinating insights. Among them is a rather sobering self-assessment of banks' omnichannel delivery capability
A recent experience renting a car painfully demonstrated that banks aren’t the only ones that have a ways to go.
Me: Visited the company's website. Easily searched and located a car at a location very close to my home. Quickly booked the automobile and received an e-mail confirmation promptly. The web site displayed the location of all area locations and recommended this one based on its proximity to my known location. Reservation for 2:00 this afternoon. So far so good.
Enterprise called and left a voicemail indicating there were some “qualifying details” we would need to discuss prior to my 2:00 PM reservation.
I returned the call. The problem was that I reserved an intermediate size car and none were available – just large SUVs and 15-person passenger vans. That relevant information was not conveyed in my otherwise stellar digital experience with the brand.
- Me: “What about other locations?” I asked.
- Agent: “I can see what they have on the lot, but I don’t know the plans they have for them. Unfortunately, I can’t book for you. Feel free to call other locations yourself and see which ones may have an intermediate size car for you.”
- Me: “You mean I have to dial for dollars around Greater Atlanta to find an intermediate size car? Your web site indicated availability and gave me a confirmation. What’s up?”
- Agent: "Sorry, but that's a long story. Look, if you’re okay driving a large SUV, I can give it to you at an intermediate rate. Would that be okay?”
- Me: “I think so. It’s not what I want, but I’ll take it.”
- Agent: “Do you need a pick up also?”
- Me: “Yes, please – just prior to 2:00 – thank you”
The phone rings again, it’s Enterprise. This time, it is the location calling, not the contact center.
- Agent: “Sir, we have a problem with your rental reservation. We don’t have any intermediate size cars at this location.”
- Me: “Yes, I know. I spoke with your colleague at 10:30 this morning. You agreed to rent me an SUV at an intermediate price and pick me up prior to 2:00.”
- Agent: “Do you know who you spoke with?”
- Me: “I’m sorry, no. I didn’t get his name”.
- Agent: "Was it a man or a woman?"
- Me: "It was a male colleague of yours, but I don't recall his name."
- Agent: "Was he from this location?"
- Me: "I don't know. By the way, why whould I care?"
- Agent: "Well, I've been pretty much the only one working at this location all morning."
- Me: "Thanks for sharing, but what does that have to do with my reservation?"
- Agent: "I'm just trying to find out who you spoke with."
- Me: "Why is that relevant? I have a reservation and we have an agreement – and it's almost 2:00."
- Agent: "I dont think he was supposed to do that."
- Me: "So, are you going to rent me a car, van, SUV or whatever for an intermediate rate or not?"
- Agent: "Yes, sir, we'll do that.
- Me: "Great – see you in a few minutes".
A few days later…
Atlanta traffic kept me from returning the rental during normal business hours. Handily, there are provisions for after-hours drop-off. The rental is processed the next business day and costomers receive a final receipt via e-mail. That's the plan, anyway. It's been several days and no receipt. After calling the store, I was told the e-mail system has been down.
My bank looks very good about now.