If you’ve been in business any time at all, you’ve heard the following:
“Rule #1: The Customer Is Always Right.
Rule #2: If the Customer Is Ever Wrong, Re-Read Rule #1.”
Giving lip services to focusing on the customer is nothing new…. what is as rare and beautiful as a flawless diamond are business who truly get that business success has its roots in focusing upon the customer.
Because when you’re dealing with customers, you’re dealing with people who are unreasonable, whiny and ridiculous.Â I watched a woman in the bank the other day order around employees like they were her personal servants.Â In addition to helping this “wanna be royal” with her banking needs, she also asked employees to place stamps on her correspondence and place it in the outgoing mail for her and to fill out her deposit ticket for her.
Her treatment as royalty ended as she instructed a fellow bank customer to run over to the manager’s desk and grab her a handful of M & M candies from her desk.Â Her fellow customer responded, “Go get it yourself, lady!”
Bravo to the brave employees of my bank who literally went above and beyond to make this customer feel like royalty, though I must confess to cheering silently as my fellow banking customer put this prima donna in her “place”.
It’s ridiculous to think that a bank teller should act as your personal assistant.Â If the truth were told, that bank teller probably doesn’t earn enough to warrant a smile when the woman approached her window, let alone deliver service above and beyond the call of duty.
And that bank’s customer service is why I recommend them to family and friends…. that recommendation, combined with the hundreds of other “touches” that this banking giant engages in have helped make my bank one of the largest in North America.
Oh, did I mention that when I first moved to the area, I opened an account with a smaller, locally owned bank?Â My original bank of choice spends quite a lot of time promoting their local status and how that translates into better service.Â Those messages, combined with their IDEAL location just a mile from my house got me in the door and opening checking and savings accounts.
Thus began my ordeal of doing business with my conveniently located “local” bank.Â Making a deposit at the drive up window was a 30 minute ordeal.Â If a check wasn’t endorsed “properly” (which meant writing the account number below my signature), I could expect a tongue lashing.Â One day, I got a message on my answering machine from a teller, accusing me of getting $100 too much back in my envelope and I was to return immediately so her drawer would balance!Â When I tried to return the phone call, I was chastised by another employee!Â (By the way, she counted my withdrawal out in front of me and if she gave me $100 too much, I certainly didn’t see evidence of it.)
After just 8 weeks of horrible service, I decided enough was enough and I tried to close my account.Â I was told that there would be a $25 fee per account if they didn’t stay open for at least 6 months.Â UNBELIEVEABLE!Â I counted the days and closed my accounts there as quickly as I could without incurring additional insult to the injury.
A few days before I closed my accounts with the conveniently local branch of my local bank, their sale to a major player in the banking industry was announced.Â As I was in making a deposit, another customer asked about the upcoming take over.Â The teller’s response was surprisingly forceful, “Well, hopefully we’ll get a pay raise since we’re the lowest paid banking employees in the county!”
A) I’m not surprised and
B) If those idiots are bringing home a paycheck, they’re robbing their employer.
So the recommendation of friends and neighbors brought me to the mega bank and I’ve never looked back.Â I didn’t wait for my 6 months to be up, I opened accounts shortly after the teller phone call.Â (I mean, come on…. if they’re THAT careless with money, I don’t want them storing mine for me!)
So while the local bank sang the praises of focusing upon the customer, the mega bank actually lived it…