Thursday, June 30, 2011

Final Bank Rant....

O.K. by now you're probably sick and tired of my boring bank rant.   So am I.

So let me wrap this up with a lesson on the most important word in customer service...

Finally Beth and I scheduled time to go to the bank together to close several of our accounts because they were costing far more in fees than they were paying in interest. The most frustrating account was my son PJ's savings account. Most banks don't charge minors. Apparently my bank usually doesn't either.

The bank manager was short-staffed, so she is serving as a personal banker when we visited and I got to enjoy her delightful company again.

I complained about the charges on my son's account. She was quick to blame Someone Else.

"Someone didn't set this up right," she replied knitting her brow.

"They didn't charge his account any fees for the last 12 years," I retorted. "So, I assume 'Someone'  made the mistake a couple months ago."

"Someone made the mistake when you set up the account,"

"OK, this isn't about blame. This is about protecting my son's money."

"It says here that you're the custodian on the account ..."

"Yes. But if the account wasn't sent up correctly as a minor's account, there wouldn't be a custodian. Would there?"


"Mr. Sasso, what would you like to do with this account?''

"Close it."

"Is there something about our service you're unhappy with?"

I'll save you the rest of the exchange. She credited the fees back. And she warned me against other big bad banks with hidden fees. But one thing she didn't say was "Sorry."

Mistakes happen. Most customers are forgiving of that. But without an "I'm sorry" it's hard to forgive.

Takeaway:  An simple apology can go a long way to smooth over most mistakes. It costs nothing but it's worth a lot to your customer.

Friday, June 24, 2011

In The Mood, Part 4....

My “bank rant” continues from last time. 

I walked into my bank after complaining about fees and faced a
well-designed promotional message on the door:

“Earn $240”

All I had to do was open a new account. The fine print turned me from
intrigued to irritated:

“New Customers Only.”

Someone in marketing wasn’t thinking. Aren’t 99% of the people walking
in the front door current customers? What message are they sending:
“YourLocal Bank: Raising Your Fees To Give Your Money To Our New

After my transaction, the teller rubs salt in my wound by handing me a
flyer and asking me to refer a friend so THEY can get $240 for opening a
new account.

How does that make a loyal customer feel? How would it make you feel?

Wouldn’t a better approach be to pay me $120 for a referral and my
friend $120 for switching banks?

Takeaway: Are you treating new customers better than existing ones?