Two supposedly identical businesses – behaving VERY differently

One day last week I went into two different banks with my son.

Typically I manage to avoid visiting banks but on this occasion we were putting the wheels in motion on opening an account for him.

Into the first bank we go. There were two cashiers and one enquiries desk. There were no members of the public present except ourselves. Eventually one of the cashiers raised her eyes towards us and directed us to the enquiries desk. The woman there was doing nothing. Literally.

But she said they were too busy to have someone see us then. She then proceeded into a lengthy and confusing explanation as to how opening the account required some convoluted combination of online form-filling AND a physical meeting.

She was also directing everything she said at me, talking about my son in front of him like he wasn’t there.

I was none the wiser really – but we did manage to make an appointment to see someone – a week later.

We walked out the door and my son says “Dad, since we’re downtown anyway, how about we go to [name of other bank]?”.

So we did. We walked in the door of the 2nd bank and were immediately greeted – warmly. We were asked to sit in comfortable seats and to wait 5 minutes. In less than 5 minutes we were seen and the person spoke directly to my son in a very respectful way. The information provided was crystal clear – utterly devoid of ambiguity and waffle. And it was delivered in a friendly and engaging manner.

Which bank did we choose?

No contest. It so happened that they also have friendlier opening hours but that wasn’t the determining factor. Neither was it interest rates, withdrawal limits, ATM card provision, etc. No. It was simply how we were both treated. And that’s a mindset. A culture. An attitude.

Sometimes it’s that simple!

What do your customers want from you? Maybe ask them?

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