Tangibles and Customer Loyalty

How does your shop or service area look? Are your sales people appropriately dressed and welcoming? If you deal with customers over the phone, is your manner warm and attentive? Do you connect with the customer?

Let’s look at a real example or, as I experienced recently, a tale of two bank branches. The bank I use has four branches that are roughly the same distance from me in different directions.

In three branches, I am routinely greeted when I walk in the door and asked if I can be helped.

In one, the greeting begins when I either head for the teller windows or go into the office area for more personal service.

In the fourth branch I’m ignored until THEY are ready to help me. Imagine the reaction I would have if I were shopping for a new bank. Recently, as I stood where directed for several minutes, I could see they knew I was there, but there was NO recognition of my presence, NO greeting and NO apology for making me wait until I made a move to walk out. At that point, one teller TOLD me she “could help (me) now” with NO apology for the wait I had to endure! The poor treatment continued during my transaction as this teller REPEATEDLY chirped, “And how is your day, Sir?” It quickly became clear she would NOT stop asking until I said, “fine”. Meanwhile, another customer had come in was also subjected to the same wait and cold shoulder treatment I endured while awaiting service.

What is the message this bank is giving to its customers? If I had not already experienced such good service at the other branches of this same bank, I would have seriously looked at changing banks.

In this branch, one tangible stands out in stark contrast to neighboring branches. While everyone was dressed appropriately and the service area was the same as the other branches, in this branch, I did NOT feel welcome. I was more of an intrusion than a valued customer. There was a minimal, pro forma attempt to connect with me AFTER I was ignored for several minutes.

Did they REALLY want my business? If my only experience was with this one branch, I would have taken my business elsewhere.

Tangibles count if you want loyal customers.

 

Steve Oviatt is President of Battlefield Telecom Consulting LLC (www.battlefieldtele.com) and also writes about Telecom Expense Management issues at www.facebook.com/BattlefieldTelecom.

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About battlefieldtelecom

I'm an experience trainer and customer service consultant who has worked extensively in the high tech, telecom and call center arenas around the world.
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