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Everyone Likes Over-the-Top Customer Service…and Soup!

August 15, 2012

In the last two days I’ve encountered two stories that couldn’t be more different.  The first was about the uncaring staffers at United Airlines who lost a 10-year-old unaccompanied minor.  The second was about a New Hampshire Panera Bread employee who went out of her way to make soup for a customer who was passing soon from cancer.

Over-the-top customer service stories aren’t told much in the banking industry and they certainly aren’t often told publicly.  Every week I hear conversations from bankers and bank marketers about social media strategies – or more accurately put “gimmicks” – for increasing engagement – or more accurately put “likes” – and I swear I can hear the Internet weep a bit.  Giving away $1 to a charity in exchange for a like isn’t exactly at the top of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.  And where does pushing this factoid out to your 233 fans fit into the grand scheme of things?

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Whatever happened to engaging people in person with extreme service and kindness instead of with random questions or contests?

Think about the last time you had an extreme customer service experience in any environment?  I have worked in the hotel, restaurant, and retail industries and used to pride myself on delivering consistently good experience most of the time and in looking for an extreme way to deliver when I could.  From the other side of the counter, it’s not as easy as it seems but it can make an amazing difference to a customer.  And, as we’ve seen, it can give someone a reason to talk about you and your brand:

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If you know of any publically discussed over-the-top banking service stories, please let me know.  If you don’t, think about what your retail and branch admin departments can do to assist in making moments like these – moments that people share publicly online and in person – an everyday occurrence!

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