Saturday, March 31, 2012

Customer Service: IDBI Bank is a Shining Example

IDBI Bank stands out amongst its banking sector peers when it comes to customer care.

While IDBI Bank would not compare favorably with some of the front line banks like PNB and HDFC Bank besides the big brothers SBI and ICICI Bank in terms of (assets) size and reach, it can definitely give them a run for their money when it comes to customer service, a critical though mostly ignored aspect where most banks falter to deliver. In fact, IDBI Bank is too good for other banks to come even close to it when it comes to customer care.

To cite one example, just a couple of weeks ago, one of my friends told me that he was pleasantly surprised when he received his cheque book even before he could apply for the one! His earlier cheque book had almost exhausted, however, he was too lazy to apply in time for a new one. But the bank was not! Its robust customer care infrastructure knew when to send the cheque book. My friend had not expected his bank (IDBI) to be so caring! Surprisingly, not many people know that IDBI Bank is a state-owned (and not a private sector) bank!

And it is just one example. Even the branch banking experience at an IDBI Bank branch would put its competitors to shame. The ambience at IDBI Bank’s branches is so good that a customer may wonder whether he or she is visiting a top quality car show room! But the biggest surprise is the quality of staff. The staff is courteous and caring. They are also very forthcoming and are always ready to assist you. They also lend an ear to your suggestions as well as grievances with equal ease. They also have the patience to listen to their bank’s customer’s small chit-chats. Though all this may sound unbelievable, it is true. Indeed, the top quality customer service of IDBI Bank comes as a fresh breath of air to customers (at least for small customers like me) tired of facing apathy of staff at majority of the home-grown banks, including the fast-growing private sector banks.

It’s a remarkable turnaround for the yesteryear’s DFI (Development Financial Institution) behemoth which had been trying hard to find its footing in India’s banking landscape that underwent a sea change post-1991. While the sector ushered into universal banking, IDBI found itself sorely lagging behind peers like ICICI and HDFC, which leapt ahead by morphing themselves into a sort of financial supermarkets, riding high on new and innovative models such as bankassurance and universal banking, in tune with the changing global banking environment.

The transformation that IDBI has undergone in the last few years is, however, now beginning to show the results. As its 2010 financial results showed, it pays to be customer-friendly. According to an analysis by The Analyst magazine (October 2010 issue), IDBI Bank outperformed its banking sector peers (in the state-owned banks category), by notching up highest Business Per Employee and stood second in terms of Profit Per Employee (after Corporation Bank), during FY 2009-10.

And if it continues its good efforts in the hitherto ignored areas like customer care and product innovation (even its passbook looks sleek and is elegantly designed), it would be tougher for rivals to stop its march to the top of the banking league table.  
Surely, IDBI Bank stands out as a shining example in an industry which is notorious for poor customer service. Maybe they can take a leaf out of the retailing industry’s book - the best industry when it comes to customer care.

Good work, IDBI Bank.

On the lighter vein, I would like to put the disclaimer that it’s neither a sponsored ad nor an advertorial. It’s the personal experience of the author. Hence experiences of other customers might vary. 


(Images source: IDBI Bank)


  1. 1. all banks give a new cheque book before last leaf of earlier book is used. this is system generated and nothing unique by this bank
    2. this is written by the PR Dept of the bank
    3. to see how they function try taking a home loan or a personal loan and see the fun

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  4. I have used the services of almost 10 banks in India and my experience with IDBI is that it is the WORST bank and I have made the biggest mistake of my life my opening an account in this bank . It has been one year and they are not sending me the debit card or Netbanking details . CUSTOMER Service is pathetic .. After one opens the account and deposits some amount , they are least concerned about their customers . I would seriously discourage people from banking with IDBI .

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