The culture of customer service is becoming more and more extinct. Customer service should be a culture, not just a department. I just left the bank lobby near my office. I went inside to make a deposit. I’d like recognize the people who work there and so I take the time to go inside the lobby and create some semblance of personal banking. Today, I did not accomplish any connection, in fact, I left the lobby fuming. I wasn’t fuming because they treated me poorly – it was because I witnessed them treating another customer in such a rude manner, that frankly, I don’t think I can continue to bank there.
While I was waiting in line, I was listening to the bank employee who was talking on the telephone at the end of the counter. She was talking in a raised tone, so anyone in the lobby could hear her side of the conversation clearly. If you weren’t caught up in the volume of her voice, her eye-rolling made up for it. She rolled her eyes at the customer on the phone, while looking at me, as if I was her ally on discussing company policy out loud for other customers to hear.
Next, she interrupted my transaction to look up this customer’s record to see who opened the account. Yes, she used the computer that was being used for my transaction with another teller. She was smug about the fact that she was defending company policy. Apparently, the bank has an overriding policy that says you can not have your money the same day that you make your deposit. She blabbered on about something called “same-day availability”.
I realize that policies are in place to protect your company and they are in place more for your protection than they are for your customers. But let me remind you of this: It’s Not Your Money!! That money belongs to your customer. She is calling you out of an immediate need and you won’t give her own money to her. Poor customer service is becoming so common place in business, it’s as if you’ve forgotten why you are in business in the first place, and that is to serve your customers. As Don Gallegos, past president of King Soopers said, “Don’t win the argument, win the customer”.
Here’s my advice to the customer on the telephone: Close your account immediately and ask for ALL of your money, Right Now. It’s your money. Take it to a bank that understands that.
I will be closing my accounts with this bank. I will tell them that I do not want to be the customer who calls on the phone asking for help to get my own money and be yelled at in front of other customers.
Look at your customer policies. If they don’t benefit your customer, go back and re-write them. When your customer wins, so does your business. Train your employees to treat every customer, even the ones on the phone, as if they really matter to your company. It seems simple, but if you’re losing customers, you don’t need a department to take a survey to tell you why. Make customer service your company culture, and you’ll retain loyal customers.
Yes, customer service is seemingly extinct, but I’m on the look out for those companies out there who are alive and thriving for their customers.