I helped someone to open a small business chequing account recently. She and her husband are starting a small business. I suggested RBC digital choice business account because its monthly fee is $5 which is the lowest. She does all her transactions online so it fits her needs.
We tried to apply online. After we entered all the information, it shows a message saying that this application can’t be completed online and we need to call. No reason was given. Worse is that no application ID was provided so all information entered was not saved. We had to start from the scratch.
The website says that she has to go to the branch to show her ID and incorporating documents anyway, so we decided to just book an in-person appointment to get it done.
When she and her husband got to the branch, they ran into some issues. First, there was a tax related question whether her company will conduct business outside of Canada. She asked the advisor what it means. She will be providing computer and software services. Some of her clients could be from US. Does it mean that she is conducting business outside of Canada? The advisor tries to google this sentence to find out why. She was a bit taken back and the advisor doesn’t know what this question entails. However, the advisor insisted that even if she has US clients, it doesn’t mean that she conduct business outside of Canada. She was not convinced.
Anyhow, she continued with the application. When she wants to indicate that she owns 100% of the shares and her husbands owns no shares. She and her husbands are both directors of the company. The application software doesn’t allow to put into 0% for her husband. The advisor kept insisting nothing is wrong with the software. If her husband is a director, he must own certain share. She thought that is just simply not true. Director and shareholder are two different concepts. They don’t have to be the same. The advisor even suggested that she needs to change the corporate ownership structure to give her husband some shares. What the heck? Change the company to fit the RBC bank account application software that is too restrictive? That is ridiculous and wrong in so many levels.
At this point, she and her husband really felt very uncomfortable. They had to stop the application and ended the meeting.
I suggested her to call RBC call centre to apply instead. I have to say that she is the most loyal and determined RBC customer ever. Other people might have dropped RBC already after the above experience. She did call the next day. This time, it went well. The advisor on the phone is very knowledgeable and helpful. He clarified that her company indeed conducts business outside of Canada if she has US clients. And he was able to indicate that she owns 100% of the company and her husband doesn’t. Both of them are directors of the company. No issue whatsoever. The application went through smoothly.
I guessed that the advisors in the call centre use different application from the advisors in the branch. Not surprising because IT systems for different channels were probably developed in different time. For big companies, it is a big challenge for them to have consistent customer experiences cross all channels. That is their goal.
Just another story with the big banks. There are problems at almost every single touch point. At least that is consistency. 😊