So the conference hashtag for the American Bankers Association Bank Marketing Conference is officially here: #ABAMKTG. A quick Twitter search shows a good amount of activity already surfacing as well as this partial list of registered attendees with their corresponding handles. Can’t wait to reconnect or meet with many of you! Sincerely, @BankMarketing – aka Mark Zmarzly
If I missed you, please add your handle into a comment and I’ll get you added. Thanks!
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?
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:
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!
Here are some of the things that I’ve been doing while I should have been blogging:
- Speaking at last week’s ABA Bank Marketing Conference. I was invited to represent the “Free Checking” side of our industry’s debate over product profitability in the new regulatory environment. Mary Beth Sullivan of Capital Performance Group (http://www.capitalperform.com/) provided the fee side of the debate. We had a great session (based on what I heard from the attendees) and this is obviously a popular and polarizing topic. My slides can be found below, but a bunch of other resources on this topic (including a 60-page in-depth look at checking product changes, marketing, and sales processes at 20 of the top banks in American) can be found at www.actonattheaba.com. It was a fantastic conference and I was very impressed by the ABA’s programming (more on that in a future post).
- Traveling out East to visit with new and prospective clients. According to my fortune cookie, this bodes well:
- Preparing for next month’s BAI Retail presentation with Jennifer Grazel (Head of Category Development – Financial Services, Healthcare and Travel at LinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/in/jennifergrazel). It should be a great one on how Bankers can Use LinkedIn to Generate Sales. If you will be in Chicago, let me know so we can connect in person!
- I’ll mention one other thing that’s been a barrier to blogging and that’s my last blog post! I did a part 1 of 2 on how Capital One might kill my relationship with ING. Now I’m committed to doing a part 2 but Capital One hasn’t done anything yet to my ING account except for adding the ability to write checks, which is a good thing! I have a lot of research on this post #2, but unfortunately Capital One hasn’t done anything yet.