1 out of 5 ain't bad? Seriously?
March 27, 2019
In setting up for our own small business banking requirements, we recently visited the 5 major banks in our community to determine their account fees, assess customer service levels and get an understanding of their small business knowledge.
The local bankers’ knowledge and customer service levels ranged from non-existent to excellent. Despite having booked appointments a week in advance, one banker just didn’t show up and had us referred to a trainee with only a couple of days experience. Another banker got called to an internal meeting at the last minute and we were forced to rebook after waiting for 15 minutes…so much for them valuing our time! In one instance, when we questioned the ability of their online banking platform to accommodate 2 approvals, we were told that they couldn’t do it… but their workaround was for us to sign a waiver so that either signor could do online banking transactions. There goes a key internal control.
Of the 5 bankers, only 1 had prepared for the meeting, provided us with an agenda to consider and offered additional services that they thought we could benefit from. The level of small business knowledge and customer service was so far beyond the others that you could make the case to deal with that bank even if the fees were much higher than the others, which they were not.
Based on our experience, to make appointments, meet the bankers, analyze the fee structures and make our decision, the total time invested was approximately 15 hours spread out over 2 weeks– and we had the knowledge and experience to be able to expedite the selection process. Account fees at two banks were 13 times higher than the bank we selected.
My point in all this, is that it pays to shop around but not everyone has the time or ability to make the informed decision that we just made, which leads back to a quote from Peter Druker, a famed management consultant, “Do what you do best, and outsource the rest!”
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest”. --Benjamin Franklin