HomeBlogTeenage Take over #11

Teenage Take over #11

It's the 11th teenage take over: We're talking about first impressions

Hello everybody! Now that we are actually in 2024 let’s get down to business! It’s only a month into January and a fair bit has happened already. Only three days into 2024 the FTSE 100 bosses had already earned the same as the annual UK average salary, with an hourly rate in excess of £1000. World War 3 seems ever closer, with the Russia and Ukraine conflict approaching 2 years, the war in Gaza worsening everyday and now UK & US military missile strikes on Houthis. It’s not a particularly rosy start to the year… In fact, due to Houthis many shipping companies have already changed routes, adding days if not weeks to shipments, costing businesses millions which will inevitably end being paid for by us. The shipping issues have already caused Tesla to have stopped production at their factory in Berlin (something we’ve been looking at in Business). Despite all the negatives, there has been a major positive… my (Luke’s) 16th birthday! 

But with every silver lining there is another cloud! My sixteenth has caused a bit of grievance in our household and not how might be immediately obvious. One of the savings accounts my mum had set up for me automatically removed my mum’s permission to access the bank account…(which as a 16 year old I didn’t think was such a bad thing…)

A terrible customer journey

But let’s start our journey on New Year’s eve. A joyous day spent on the ski slopes of Austria, tracking my top speed on Strava before dancing the night away.

Fast forward a few days, we’re back at home, going back to school, making dents in literally hundreds of piles of washing and catching up on admin. It was about this time my mum realised she had lost access to the Lloyds account. Which I thought was fine because now I can access it (that is probably not fine, it’s probably not a good idea to leave me in charge of large amounts of money), or so we thought. Turns out my mum can’t see the account and neither can I.

We phoned them, I want to see where my money is and take some out if I want to. Except I can’t. It’s now a special kind of account where I can only transfer money to another of my Lloyds accounts. Except I don’t have another Lloyds account. So, say I want to take ALL the money out, I have to open an account to transfer my money to and then close both accounts. It’s not just me. That is illogical!

They have a solution... or do they?

Then they said this was all possible online. I just need to set up online banking, they sent me an activation code, I registered. Except I don’t have a mobile phone number attached to the account so they can’t verify me.

But my mum set the account up when I was a baby. I didn’t have a mobile then, so of course they don’t have any details for me. So, I’ve set up online banking, but can’t get past the first screen because they don’t have a mobile for me. Great, I call them again, because it says I can verify a phone number that way. Not great. To verify the phone number they need to send me another code in the post. 

Like, how many trees die in the online process? And we’re only doing this to open an account to transfer the money to, so I can take it out and close the account. What is the actual point? 

Oh I forgot to mention – the funniest bit of that call, when they said someone can open an account over the phone for me…they’ll transfer me (remember this is Lloyds telephone help). And I’m sure that by a typo or some random accident, we were connected to the Halifax line and the call cut off… genius!

Am I ever going to bank with Lloyds again? Probably not.

First impressions matter…

First impressions are always important. Whether you are different to how you initially come across or not. Once somebody has built an idea in their head about you it’s much harder to prove them wrong and show the real you. 

When you make a good first impression, it’s a much smoother road afterwards. First impressions are made in seconds but take much longer to undo. So why wouldn’t you take a little bit more time and care to make a good one? 

For example, unlike some, in school I’ve always tried my best to make the best first impression to my teachers and it has really come in handy (especially when it comes to getting out of homework…). 

Conversely, a new teacher joined the school about seven months ago but made a horrible first impression. Perhaps it was the stress of a new job, or something going on at home. Whatever the reason, no-one liked their class. However, now they have settled in, I actually think they’re a really good teacher and like them. But others still haven’t got over the terrible initial interactions.

The whole experience is important too

Another real world example is our recent ski trip. It had been a few years since mum had skied, she found an instructor who would take me, mum and dad in one group and it was brilliant because we were all together but no-one was held back. He got to know us, worked out what we were good at, and where he could push us. 

He was friendly, knowledgeable and so relaxed. It was just brilliant, we had really nice time. Which means that mum is considering rebooking, so from a business perspective, the first interaction you have with a customer is by far the most important, unless you have total monopoly on a market, customers won’t come back if you have bad service even just one time.

It might not be pensions, but it’s all related.

Did I have much of a clue about online banking and opening accounts 2 months ago?  Not really, I have a spending account but it’s once in a blue moon where I spend more than a tenner in one go (except once in Covid, but that’s a different blog).

But due to this encounter I have seen first hand the importance of first impressions and why an intuitive and easy journey is essential. 

I don’t want a barrier between me and my money. 

I don’t want to wait to get an activation code in the post when I’m sat at my computer then. 

I don’t want to a call to be transferred to a different company’s recorded message and terminated. 

And I definitely don’t want to feel like you’re just not listening to me. Good customer service is essential. 

See you next month…

Anyway, that just about wraps things up for today. And we will see you next month.

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