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Window-shopping has always been an adventure for me.
One Tuesday morning, I took it to a "higher" level by conducting a survey of foreign commercial banks in the country. My goal: to find out which bank is the most customer-friendly of them all.
Little did I know that looking for that one bank is not as easy as searching for that little black dress. Makati City is no big shopping mall, and polling banks is absolutely a shop-till-you-drop kind of an experience.
After an early lunch at the office canteen, I was off to my adventure. For that day, I would be Cecille of ABC Co. or 123 Inc., but definitely not of BusinessWorld. This way, I thought, banks will not be forced to pay special attention to me just because I have a tag that screams "press" in bold letters.
My first stop was Citibank's main branch on Paseo de Roxas, where "human" staff has been almost replaced by machines. My first impression was that clients would rather interact with machines than let the staff assist them. Strange, so I had to find out why.
Perhaps by design, a lady manning the customer service counter turned out to be almost half-human, half-automated. She would deal with clients without any change in intonation or any facial expression. Talk about how high-tech Citibank is!
"I would like to inquire about opening a savings account. How...," I said, but was not able to finish my sentence when the Citibank lady cut me off. She already read my mind.
"Just bring your passport, your driver's license and other identifying documents," she …