Thursday, June 03, 2010

Banking e-responsiveness

Convenience and the Internet have become synonymous for consumers like me. Gone are the days when you had to struggle to find out the simplest things like where is the nearest Canara bank branch located. 

In the pre-Internet days you would probably do something on the following lines:
1) Search the telephone directory under "C"
2) Call up a branch listed in the directory
3) Be put on hold or keep having your line getting transferred or hear a response like "What do you think this is? A help-line?"
4) Give up after some time
5) Call up a few friends and locate the branch

Now with the internet all you do is:
a) An online search with a few helpful tags like "canara bank branches mumbai". 
b) Get to the Canara bank webpage where you are greeted by a couple, delirious no doubt, with the joy of internet banking.
See a blue tab called "locators" right there.

b) Locate the branch

Simple, right? 

This is what you get when you go through that process:
Yes. Some brain decided to sort the list. Alphabetically. Based on the first letters of the address, which God knows is as random as you wouldn't want it to be. Total number of records: 103. And to get more pleasure out of the exercise, they limit the display results to 10 a page. So i have to keep clicking and search on every page for the area i am looking  for. No Good.

Best part is if i just do a "Canara bank Mumbai" Google search, it  gives me a really nice result format - the one i kind of want.

Would it have hurt to give this format on the webpage? Or at least give an area-sorted list? Or an area-search button?

So what am i left with? Step 5of the pre-internet process: "Call up a few friends and locate the branch"

It's easy to talk about e-responsiveness but if you're not thinking about the process from the consumer angle there's no point really. You might as well operate it as a brick-and-mortar establishment. That way at least you won't raise expectations and have it crashing down later.

Incidentally, a site that does a much better job on this front is this