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Creating A Culture Of Thank You

Creating A Culture Of Thank You

It’s not about me, it’s you

There’s no doubt we’re living in the age of ME. Whether it’s the constant barrage of selfies on social media, texting while driving, or idiots on reality TV making fools of themselves for 15-minutes of fame. It seems more than ever, our culture is fixated with themselves. I want it my way and on my time schedule. Unfortunately, this ME culture has worked its way into many community banks and has taken our focus away from the people that matter most, our customers.

Related: Community Banking In A Selfie World

While there are various aspects of delivering a great customer service experience, one simple way to make an immediate impact is by your last impression… saying Thank You. There is no way community banks can compete with national and regional banks when it comes to technology, ATM locations, etc. But they can compete and outright win when it comes to customer service. So how do you win? A good place to start is by creating a culture of Thank You. Here are three groups of customers you should thank every day.

Valuable Customers

It’s come to the point where we’re no longer shocked to find out that many deposit and loan customers with a relationship of over $100,000 aren’t even known by the servicing branch manager or loan officer. Try pulling a list of these types of customers and see for yourself. Even if you know who they are, when is the last time you’ve actually called them or written a note to simply say Thank You? Have you ever wondered why so many banks feel they have to place quotas to get a manager to call his customers? It’s the ME culture. It’s about my time, my comfort, and my way. It’s become what’s best for me, not the customer. Great banks treat their employees well, but not at the expense of the customer. And since when is it unreasonable to ask employees to contact their customers?

Action: Set a goal and act on it to make at least 3 thank you calls or to send out 3 thank you notes every single day. Then track it.

Your Advocates

Advocates are those customers who are singing your praises and sending other customers to bank with you. They typically have all of their banking services with you. Don’t ignore this group and never buy into the philosophy of treating every customer the same, because they’re not. Treat all customers with respect, while treating your advocates better than any other customer. One nice way to do this is through an Advocate or VIP Appreciation Lunch. Make it an invitation only event for this select group of customers. If other customers want to come, tell them how they can qualify… by becoming an advocate. If you want to continue having customer appreciation days, where the guy who got out of jail yesterday and the million-dollar advocate relationship customer get the same hotdog at your big event, that’s fine. However, you also need to have an exclusive event for your Advocates that says Thank You in a very special way.

Action: Schedule a Thank You lunch this quarter for your Advocates. Have one of your Advocates cater the event.

Those Around You

Many of your employees and coworkers deserve a Thank You. The number-one motivator for most people is a simple pat on the back. That pat on the back could very well be your Thank You. It’s free to give and takes very little time. The thank you could be done in person or in an email. Avoid the “thanks for all you do” thank you, because you’ve actually forgotten exactly what it is they did, but you’re pretty sure they did something. Get specific in your comments or email. This will show him the impact he had and will show your sincerity. When sending an email, try copying his boss so she can see how her employee helped you.

Action: Set a goal of saying Thank You to at least one employee or coworker every week. Once you have that down, try it every day.

Thank You Matters

Your community bank is not Walmart, Payless, or McDonalds. It’s far more important. Your local burger joint can get away with saying the same, “have a nice day”, line to every customer even if they don’t really mean it. Customers expect more from their banker. They want to know that their business is truly appreciated. Remember, you’re here to serve the customer, not accommodate yourself. A simple Thank You will go a long way in setting the stage for a relationship that will matter to you, your customer, and your bank.

SCMG, Inc.
9 Laurelwood Dr
Covington, LA, 70435
(800) 560-1127

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