An ANZ update… a white knight to the rescue!

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So, after my venting yesterday I determined that the only way to progress things was to connect with a real human being, and be treated as a valuable customer. So I went in to see my wonderful bank manager Gerard Stitt at the ANZ Bank in North Sydney.

With his usual calm and composure he made a couple of calls and resolved an issue which had been dragging on for the best part of 6 weeks. Within half and hour he dealt with my problems which we all had been told it would take yet another week.

And then this morning I get an email from Twitter to say that ANZ is “foll0wing” my tweets… they don’t seem to be doing anything about it, but they are “following” me… whoopee!

So, what to make of this?

Firstly, when it comes to the resolution of issues involving large, bureaucratic institutions one needs a guide and coach to get one though. This is not rocket science, nor a startling revelation, but I am convinced there is a business out there to coach people through life challenges (of which death is a major one) and would love to see someone do this. On a couple of fronts my solicitor told me “now, when you do this next time…” – hopefully there won’t be too many “next times”, but death, as with taxes, are a core element of life.

Secondly, that regardless of how much social media are touted, and the rhetoric of the marketeers about listening and monitoring and all the ROI they can chew, the reality is that my experience tells me that this is not worth much at all. In the end it was a real person whom I approached, I had to go and chase things up, and I was lucky enough to have a good manager who is a credit to his organisation and his profession.

I have a number of social media conferences and presentations coming up over the next six months and I will be using this episode as part of my presentations and teaching. It will be interesting to put it out there for debate and see how others in the room respond. I think it will also flush out the marketeers from the communicators.

When it comes to the “digital brand” – which is, of course, the focus of much of my research – as is so often the case there has been a total misalignment between the rhetoric and reality. What is said and what is done are not the same, and for the many people who don’t have a Mr Stitt to help and guide them, they would be stuck in the whirlpool of the underworld still. It really reinforces the argument about the value of advertising versus just training people in common sense and good manners.

Mr ANZ. If you are listening then perhaps you could utilise this, and the many other examples of this type, to really align how you act with how you work. Whichever bank (or other major institution intimately involved with the lives of its customers) actually “gets” this will be a winner in the end – not on interest and rates and loans conditions, but on sheer humanity.