10 April 2007

Simpler, better, faster...

Simpler, better faster...

Some will remember that that was, until recently, the advertising slogan of the Standard Bank of South Africa.

But it seems that they realised that they couldn't deliver on their commitment to make banking "Simpler, better, faster...", and so, perhaps in a rush of honesty to the head, they acknowledged that they had just made it more involved.

And that was certainly the experience of their clients -- a few years ago you could go in to the bank, speak to the manager about a problem, and the manager would see to it that it was solved. But no one solves problems any more; they just address them or give them attention. That makes it "simpler" (for them, not for the customer), so you go in to discuss a problem but you don't get to see the manager, instead you see a "consultant" who knows zilch about solving problems (or even addressing them) but is trained to sell you "products" that you don't want and don't need. So from the customer's point of view the process is certainly more involved, because the "consultant" doesn't know how you can cancel your mortgage insurance once your mortgage has been paid off, and says you must contact someone else. So their new slogan is "Inspired, motivated, involved..." They are certainly inspired and motivated to make banking more involved.

And what were they thinking of when they began calling bank accounts and insurance policies "products"? One pictures them rolling off a production line and plopping into a bin and being taken in a lorry to be sold at corner cafes.

And bureaucratese and politician-speak are as bad as bizspeak. We are being swamped by a tsunami of jargon and buzz words.

I hope that when they've finished moving the goalposts and levelling the playing fields we'll be ready for the World Cup in 2010, but I wonder if it will happen by the end of the decade because it certainly won't be by the end of the day.

And they're always putting initiatives in place -- somewhere on a shelf in a locked strongroom where they'll never see the light of day, much less be implemented.

And computer geekspeak is even worse.

I'm longing for the day when I can once again buy an unenhanced keyboard, with the function keys on the left, where they made typing simpler, better faster...

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