Banking, Brands, Opinion

What a Toilet Taught Me About Customer Service

I was recently in a mall in one of Lagos’ popular suburbs when I felt this incredible urge to use the convenience! Now this shouldn’t be a problem right? wrong! It was!!

Actually, this mall was under renovation and the toilets were too! For about 30 seconds, I was furious. They might as well have decided to shut the building down. If you let people in, then they have to be human, which involves a regular use of a place to release waste from the body!

The urgency of my predicament overcame my feeling of injustice and I was soon out on the streets looking for a place to relieve myself with a plan: look for an eatery or a bank. After a stroll, I finally arrived at a bank. Though a legacy brand, this building was attractive on the inside and soon I was standing in a convenience up on the first floor of the building.

This toilet was unbelievably very neat that I decided to spend a longer time! See, I had arrived there settling to just pee (minor) however the quality of the convenience triggered a longing for a deeper experience, so I decided to poop (major). In the process of this important activity, I discovered that people (well other men, duh!) had written all sorts of things on the recently painted door. From subtle preachings to convert the public to the writer’s faith, to an encouragement by a kindred spirit (who echoed my thought) to poop here as it was fun, to a frustrated young man who used the ‘f’ word to describe the National Youth Service Corps, it was all there.

Hang on something was missing. No one had written anything negative about this brand here. I cross referenced this with other bank conveniences I had been to. Another bank’s similar door had carried inscriptions such as This bank sucks, payment lines are so long, a few swear words aimed at the management and staff, etc.

Then it hit me. People will most likely give you an honest opinion of a brand when they are very well relaxed! Let’s face it leaving notes on a toilet door works because:

– You are relieved (sometimes extremely, depending on how long you have been carrying it!)

– You are anonymous: no one is looking at you and thus you can say no wrong. You are free to express yourself without judgement.

– The platform is comfortable and easy to leave a feedback: How? Get a biro, and state what’s on your mind.

I instantly told myself that the bank manager should visit this place and see what comments people are leaving. Sadly, I realized that there was a feedback and comments sign on a slab at customer service downstairs. I need no prophet to tell me that channnel is rarely used. The process is quite a task.

Here is the lesson:

– If a brand wants to know what customers really think, they should look in unconventional places -the toilet door (like in my case), social media, comments on blogs, rants in complaint emails, even informal discussions among customers on a queue (*if you can pick it up from there).

– A customer survey is most likely a hard sell.

Now here is another lesson I learned:

I had gone to this same bank a few weeks ago to perform the BVN exercise, however a rude security man told me I couldn’t carry my computer inside. Why? no reason. He expected me to leave a computer worth a huge amount out, in the name of BVN. No thanks. This singular incidence made me skeptical about the brand.

Now funny enough a great toilet experience instilled some hope in this brand. Funny yeah? You do realize that nothing dealing with the bank’s financial operations or service delivery has been mentioned. It’s the intangibles, often times, that wins the customer’s heart.

Guess what? I feel like taking a leak AGAIN! and I’m still in this mall. Smh. Where will I relieve myself? Another bank?