Is it for YOUR convenience… or the customer’s?


Apr 23 • Practice Management • 4415 Views • No Comments

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My wife, Tammy, and I were in line at the drive-thru window at a local bank. It’s not the one that we usually use… we’re just making a deposit to help out her youngest, as it’s on our way, and he uses a different financial institution.

Snow is coming down, the wind is blowing, and I think the weather is absolutely miserable. As we pull up to the teller, I’m talking with the airlines to see if my flight out of town in the evening is still running on time. However, as I begin my transaction, I notice this sign in the window:


It begs two questions in our dealings with clients:

1) Is what we are asking based upon THEIR convenience… or OURS?

It’s obvious that this bank didn’t want to be delayed because I might be on my phone. Don’t get me wrong — I totally understand why that would be the case. My question, however, is… is a sign like this truly serving the customer? Or, does it mean that receiving the attention of the teller is of primary importance and you measly customers had better do what we want? Consider more than the information… what’s the tone of this message?

2) When we tell the client what they cannot do… are we explaining the reason why, so that they understand?

What if, instead, this sign had read:

“To help us prevent delays for ANY of our valued banking customers, please assist us to speed the processing and accuracy of your important transaction by not using your mobile phone during our conversation!”

  • Isn’t that the message the bank was truly trying to convey?

Instead, this sign makes me feel like I was a bad guy, who was doing something wrong — simply because I was trying to make certain I could serve my client properly and make the flight I was supposed to!

Whether we like it or not, it’s the little things that make a big difference to our clients… and prospective clients.

Given the perceived attitude imparted by this sign –

  1. What’s the likelihood I would consider moving my accounts to this bank?
  2. What impression did they make upon a potential customer about their commitment to service and putting clients first?

Take a look at the messages you’re sending to your clients! Are you communicating what you REALLY mean?

Scott McKain

Scott McKain is an internationally recognized expert on distinction, bestselling author, & hall of fame speaker. His dynamic presentations inform and inspire. His insights have been quoted in USA Today, the Wall St. Journal, and the New York Times and he is one of the top 25 marketing experts to follow on Twitter according to Social Media Marketing Magazine.

He has presented his business strategies in all fifty states and seventeen countries including the White House with the President in attendance; he is a member of “Speakers Roundtable” – an elite,
invitation-only group of twenty business speakers considered by many to be among the best in the world.

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