I’ve blogged before about why great customer service should be part of your marketing program. But, if you are like far too many businesses, you are treating it as an afterthought. Yet I know from my own experience (and I assume I am not alone) that when I receive poor or mediocre customer service from a company, I immediately begin looking for someone else with whom to do business. Conversely, when a business' customer service is exemplary, I feel good about giving it my money.
Just a couple days ago, I received excellent service within a ten-minute period from two different banks. First, I visited a neighborhood branch of a large national financial institution. The young teller who took my deposit was friendly and helpful and, because it was cold that day, he offered me hot chocolate. Although I did not have time to drink any, I left thinking what a nice gesture the offer was. (At this particular branch, great customer service definitely seems to be a priority. I have a pleasant, very personal experience every time I visit.)
Next, I went to the neighborhood branch of a large independent state bank to make a deposit. Just when I began to think that given all of the banking the gentleman ahead of me needed to transact I was probably going to end up standing on line a lot longer than I had bargained for, a bank employee came up to me. He invited me to come to his work area to get my deposit processed via his laptop and assured me that he would mail me a receipt for my deposit. I received the receipt the very next day mailed in a hand-addressed envelope.
Both banks took the opportunity to provide me with very personal service, which made me feel valued and important. And, they did not spend a lot of money doing so. Case in point: the employees at both banks were friendly, which costs nothing; the employee at the one bank was attentive to the fact that I might have better things to do with my time than stand on a line waiting to make a deposit; and the teller at the first bank offered me a cup of hot chocolate. Yes, little things do mean a lot when it comes to customer service.
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