Yesterday I went to the bank to close two accounts, and there were no questions asked. My business and personal accounts were in two different places and it was time to make it easy and get them all in one place. The accounts I was closing were not very big in the scheme of things, a checking and a small saving account.
The teller asked me if there was any pending activity on the account and I said no, I didn’t think so and so she set about closing the account and cutting me a check.
It was quite an interesting experience for me. I offered no explanation and just smiled politely while handing her my ID and account numbers. She cut a check for the savings and counted out the cash for the remainder of the checking. She smiled and said goodbye and that was that.
Oh my. No Questions Asked.
What a missed opportunity. She might have ask why I was closing the account. Perhaps she could say “I’m sorry to see that you want to close your account.” She didn’t offer that maybe there might be some way they could talk me into keeping my account there. She didn’t do anything at all that made me feel like I mattered one little bit. B’Bye.
That’s why it was easy to make the decision which bank I was going to choose.
I wasn’t attached at all. B’Bye Bank Atlantic. I really won’t miss you at all.
Several years ago I got a routine survey call from this bank. In the midst of answering the prepared questions I asked the interviewer if she was from a research agency or did she work for the bank.
She worked for the bank, so I told her what I do for a living and asked her if she really wanted my opinion about the job they were doing (from the customer’s and consultant’s view) or if she just wanted me to answer her questions. She opted for the former. I went on to tell her that her customer relationships were lacking. Sure the tellers were efficient and I presume good but that all the times I’d been there or through the drive up I never FELT that any effort was made to make a connection. Everyone was polite, but as far as the building of relationship goes, no one was what I would call really “present.”
She seemed to understand what I was saying and took the feedback gratefully, with no questions asked.
I never knew what she did with that feedback because the climate at the bank never changed. (Or to be fair – I never experienced a change.) There seemed to be a lot of new people, all very rigidly trained to do things a certain way now matter how the customer wants to do it. (“I want to cash this check and then deposit $300 in that account.” “You can’t do it that way. You HAVE to…”) While I am not looking to make the relationship I have with a teller a lifelong one, I do know (having been a teller and having trained tellers) that it is possible to make a customer feel welcome, valued, appreciated and cared about in a relatively short period of time.
IT’S JUST NOT THAT HARD!
I never heard back from her, and I didn’t take her name and number to follow up. So as this bank keeps cutting its Saturday hours and taking away some of the conveniences I took for granted; it was an easy decision that just took a long time to take care of. If they read their stats they may have thought I was a loyal customer. But in fact, I was instead a lazy customer. And now alas, a lost customer. Will they even notice?
What questions could you be asking that would help customers make the decision to stay?
We’ll be asking a lot of questions in our TIP this week. It’s time for a survey and they’ll be a free gift for anyone who shares their thoughts with us.
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