The bank that likes to say “Alright, mate?”
So Barclays has decided to go all vernacular on us. As the BBC reports, its ATMs are to be renamed “holes in the wall” and a sign in the window is to welcome customers with the message “Through this door walk the nicest people in the world”. Give me strength.
Perhaps I’m just a miserable curmudgeon, but I’m afraid there’s something about this faux-chumminess that makes me want to heave. It’s all far too redolent of the gushing drivel found on the side of Innocent smoothie bottles. By all means talk to me in plain English – ditching the jargon that often surrounds financial products can only be a good thing. But don’t pretend to be my friend – it simply isn’t credible. They’ll be getting “down with the kids” next.
The danger is that gimmicks such as these – the bank is also ditching pens on chains to show it trusts its customers – overshadow real work on improving the experience of customers. If Barclays can deliver genuine improvements in service, that will be something worth shouting about. As someone who’s fed up of negotiating labyrinthine bank call centres, a renewed focus on a more branch-based service would certainly be welcome.