A few weeks ago the Jerusalem Post revealed that Bank Leumi is now adding scents to its branches in order to make the customer experience more pleasant. Using a combination of Kugel scent mixed with cholent, Bank Leumi Marketing Department hopes to make its customers feel more at home when they come to the bank. Head of Leumi Marketing, Yonah Peleg explained, "We want our customers to relax and feel that they are among friends and family when they come to our bank."
The move is intended to counter the rising degree of apprehension most Israelis have when they enter the their bank, "For some reason, Israelis get extremely uptight when they enter a bank," said Peleg, "And more often than not unpleasant arguments and fights break out and some branches have even experienced riots while attempting to give service to their customers."
Although Peleg admits that the bank hasn't been able to figure out why this is so, it has taken steps to calm down its customers, "The scent is combined with a mild aerosol tranquilizer called 'BrainDead'," said Peleg, "Research has shown us that tranquilized customers are much more calm and easy to deal with and also, in the final analysis, much more likely to be satisfied with our service."
Independent analysts have praised the move, and Leumi stock has risen 100 points since the announcement was made. Says Baruch Cohen, a long time Leumi watcher and investor, "The ultimate goal of the bank is to separate the customers from their money. In a way this is similar to any other medical operation – it is painful, even excruciatingly so. It's like having your tooth drilled – obviously the customers were agitated."
Cohen says that it is about time Israeli banks took the next logical step and anesthetized their customers,
"It is an easy, practical solution that will change the banking experience forever – no more shouting and shoving, no more awkward scenes – instead, just calm, satisfied customers obediently signing on the dotted line and doing what they're told. It will be banking heaven!"
Despite the initial optimism, experts have raised the important question of how the new policy will effect Bank Leumi's employees. For instance, concerned investors and consumers may question how well the bank's employees will work under such conditions?
And it is here that the answers confirm what we, at ISL, have suspected for years:
According to a newly released statement, it appears that Bank Leumi has been gradually replacing its human tellers with banking androids since 1992! By next year all the banks employees in its local branches will be sophisticated androids programmed to extract the highest amount of money from the customer, for the least amount of services given. It is this technological advancement that has enabled Bank Leumi to show consistently huge profits even when large parts of the Israeli economy and whole segments of Israeli society have been forced to declare bankruptcy.
In the future, it is believed, Israeli banks will strive to replace the annoying Israeli consumer with the "Perfect Customer" android. But until that comes to pass, the banks will make do with the next best thing - the tranquilized human customer.
Dollars and scents from the Jpost
Israeli Banks Fight Back: Invent New, Preposterous Commissions
P.S. Has anyone noticed this new scent in his branch? I'm wondering how intrusive it is, how it feels and so on. Please share!