StanChart’s 8-minute Service Pledge

Standard Chartered pledges to contribute $1 to charity and do community work if customers are not served within eight minutes of visiting a bank branch….

This is a very interesting initiative by StanChart. Yet, this is not the first time that a big corporation try to do something different (make a statement) to improve their customer service.

I believe the bank sincerely want to provide faster service to customers. At the same time, they hope this initiative can help charity in the process. Although this looks like a win-win situation for the 3 parties involved (namely the bank, customer and charity), this is in fact one of the worst arrangement devised.

Now, if the bank fulfill the eight-minutes of serving the customer, the charity gets nothing. If the customer is not served in 8-minutes, the charity gets something and the bank gets bad reputation and customer experiences a lapse of service.

It’s a case of the carrot-and-stick tactic which says now if you do it, you will not get fined. If you do not meet the expectation, you’ll be punished BUT we’ll make this looks good by donating to charity. Although I believe StanChart is very much involved in charity work as an organization, I also believe doing charity shouldn’t be contingent on certain pre-determined condition.

And what is going through the mind of the staff? If I do not serve within eight-minutes, at least I don’t feel so bad cos we’ll be donating $1 to charity?? It becomes a self-consoling mechanism to allow the staff to justify the lapse of service.

Instead of doing this, why not make the pledge works this way..

We commit to serve all our customers within 8-minutes of visiting a bank branch and donate $X to charity as long as we achieve a certain percentage (say 95%) of the pledge. In case we do not meet the 95%, we will donate $X plus $1 each for the number of customers that were not served within 8-minutes.

Firstly, this arrangement creates win-win situation for all parties involved.

Secondly, this creates positive feeling among the staff as meeting the 95% target becomes a motivation for them to do charity.

By the way, I’m not sure if the bank has any incentive program tie in with this initiative. It’ll be good if staff are rewarded if they achieve the target as well. It could be non-monetary like donating to a charity of their choice, etc.