Wednesday, December 12, 2007

There might be a problem with your business process if...

I promise I will not get into the UI issues of the ATM again. Well, not directly. Its prohibiting me from doing someting which I think I should be able to do. And, instead of prohibiting me, it throws an error after I have pressed 25 buttons and submitted little slips of paper. So, I'm annoyed. Its the one in the Hy-Vee (grocery) near the house. Maybe 15 yards (meters) away is a mini-branch. Its not busy, so I ask why.
No idea.
I mean, she was nice enough, but maybe I could get the question answered if I waited for the branch manager to get off the phone. I didn't wait that long. When chatting before I gave up I said something like "these new ATMs are much worse than the old ones, which were terrible."
Oh yeah, we hear that a lot.
So, in how many ways is this bank failing? 24/7 technology is emplaced immediately next to the face-to-face store, but:
  • It has different business rules (not just technology limits) than the counter or website.
  • The people have no idea how it works.
  • And, they have no method of seeing what you did, or correcting it in any way (at least the terrible self-checkouts have an employee over-ride).
  • The employees do get lots of complaints, and are aware there are problems.
  • No one in charge of buying, specifying, customizing or installing the machinery has ever, apparently, thought to watch them in practice, or ask the people standing there every day their opinion.
Not to pick on my bank, I think this is totally typical of almost every technology implemented by a company. Even those heavily lauded for their experience, like Apple (ever tried to register the products online? and what is the point of dotmac anymore?). Netflix and Vonage are the only serious companies I know of that have any useful integration between their people, their product and their technology. And they are new, internet-only companies.

1 comment:

minijonb said...

every new ATM i've come across is a menu nightmare... and the hardware is made by Diebold... why do i not feel safe about all this?