Proper Bank Etiquette

by Kristina on October 12, 2010 · 5 comments

atmThis past week at my bank branch we had more than one client acting up, and I was so appalled by this behaviour that I felt the dire need to share the story with you.

These are general tips for customer service; they are not only applied to proper bank etiquette but to general acceptable human behaviour in public.

I am not sure if DINKS still visit your bank branch but if you do, please expect to wait in a line up.  It is similar to visiting the post office; we should always expect a 15-30 minute delay in the transaction processing time.  People should have the mentality of waiting in line at an amusement park…Hope for the best, but don’t be in a rush.  The days of running in and out of the bank are over.  If clients want quick and flawless service then we should use the ATM.

This past week as a client was waiting in line, she started yelling at another client for taking too long with the teller. I think that it is very important that we all recognize the rudeness of yelling at other clients, as well as yelling at  people in general, while in public.  If clients act like this in public, I am nervous to see how they act in the privacy of their own homes.  If these clients treat strangers like animals, I am nervous to see how they treat their family members.

When the client being served at the teller ignored the yelling client behind her, the yelling client decided to walk up to the teller window and see what the “hold up” was.  Pardon my pun.  This is definitely a banking no no.  It is never acceptable to impose on a private conversation regarding private information.  This is another proper bank etiquette  rule that also crosses over to everyday life behaviour. The world would be a better place if everyone just minded their own business.

If we are not currently working in customer service, I am sure that at some point in our working lives we have all worked in some form of customer service.  Whether we are a client or an employee we all know that customer service can be a tough job.  What is the worst experience you ever had while working in customer service?

I have really seen it all during my five years of working in a bank branch.  I have seen clients physically fight with each over who was next in line; even though we serve customers in a numerical order.  Yes, there was a debate between two clients regarding who was next in line even though they are required to take a number upon arrival.

My worst experience was when my best bank friend Tricia was assaulted by a client in our Safety Deposit Box (SDB) vault. Tricia entered the vault with our client because two keys are required to unlock an SDB; the first key is held by the client, and the second key is held by the bank. The client tried to open his box in front of Tricia in the vault and this strictly forbidden.  Legally, a bank has no right to know the contents of a SDB.  Therefore, clients are not allowed to open their box in our presence. Clients must proceed to a private room where they can open their box.

When Tricia advised the client that he must wait until the private room to open his box, he grabbed her arm from behind and told her to wait for him while he opens the SDB  in the vault. Tricia screamed and when the manager opened the vault the client was holding Tricia with both hands around her forearms.  His box was on the floor and the contents (cash and jewellery) were scattered on the floor.  To avoid a breach of privacy complaint by the client (because his box was opened in front of staff) the bank manager apologized to the client for Tricia’s behaviour.  She offered him the rest of the year free of monthly service charges on all of  his accounts.

This is another proper bank etiquette rule that also applies to real life outside of our bank branch walls.  It is never acceptable  for one person to put their hands harmfully on another person. This is just not ok.

(Photo By Wickechimp)

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ramona October 12, 2010 at 11:35 am

Fortunately for me my baking activity is now done through the internet banking system. I’ve seen ‘crazy’ people in the banks too, so I can only image how difficult is for those employees. I’ve had excellent experiences with them, so I cannot complain. And I am always polite and nice to them,

2 Migdalia October 12, 2010 at 11:56 am

I dont understand, the client hurts your friend and the manager has to apologize and offer free services??

3 Ron October 13, 2010 at 9:31 am

That 15 to 30 minute wait should be self correcting. If the bank can’t see the problem then the customers will. They will leave and go to a bank that understands good service. If that was the norm, I know I would not be back.

4 Kristina October 14, 2010 at 2:00 pm

Migdalia, trust me, I understand where you are coming from. I am not sure that its more upsetting that the client grabbed my friend, or that the manager apologized to him on her behalf. Tricia was given a few days off paid and the client continues to do business with our bank. It’s actually kind of pathetic! But…that’s life in customer service. The customer is always right.

5 Lulu October 15, 2010 at 12:26 pm

About 10 years ago I worked at a bank and we had some nutty behavior from customers as well.
* I had one lady who would put her money in her bra (even though she carried a purse…because she was afraid of purse snatchers) and would come up to the teller and shove her hands down her shirt to get the cash.

*I had a guy come to the bank and yell loudly that he had a machete and he was waiting for me (the little one with the red glasses!!) because I stole his deposit. The thing was he had a foreign check and the bank required us to put a two week hold on all foreign deposits at the time. He forgot this and came back two days later trying to withdraw the money and was told he could not have it. Luckily the bank guards subdued him and found the machete down his pants leg. I was at lunch at the time so I missed all the drama!!!!!!!

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