I must be spoiled by HSBC and Wells Fargo; now in Beijing, I found even China Merchant Bank, the so-named China's best retail bank, still has a long way to go.
I was in the Dawang Road branch of CMB yesterday to apply for a new account. It took over half an hour waiting and half an hour to process. The other customers have same situation too. In fact, there are quite a few ways to improve the service, just a bit effort.
Ways to improve the customer experience based on the operation theory:
Reduce paper work and word-typing process. There are so many paper work involved in each service, while customer don't necessarily need it. For example for easy service such as deposit, signature is not necessarily needed. Another example is to reduce the required blank for applying new account, such as office phone/home phone.etc.
Add the number of customer rep in the normal service counter. Right now, there are three customer representatives serving in the hall(one manager, two intern), six reps in four normal service counter, three reps in the wealth management counter, maybe a few in the VIP room, too. Among the four normal service counter, one is in charge of easy service, and the other three are dealing with complicated service. The whole bottleneck is here. CMB can try to move the reps from the wealth management counter to the normal service counter to reduce the waiting line. Reps in wealth management counter basically doing nothing, while reps in the normal service counters are busy to death. CMB should increase the utilization in the other counter by letting them doing normal services.
Entertain customer while they are waiting. There are a lot of ad post but they are not entertaining at all. CMB should add some newspaper/magazine or some TV screen to attract customers' attention from waiting. Those entertaining tool will dramatically reduce customers' complain.
Good luck to CMB and other Chinese banks on the way.