My dog was rather rude to a bank teller today. In his excitement over recognizing the drive through window, he wedged his 60 pounds of hairy dogginess between my lap and the steering wheel, panting his way to the transport tube. When it produced no Milkbone, he was ticked. He leaned his muzzle into the microphone, gave a low warm-up grrr, and barked his displeasure into the speaker, where it magnified and reverberated into the bank lobby. I was not proud.
Besides embarrassing me, Fido was confused. This wasn’t the Milkbone bank. I have two financial institutions, and only one gives doggie treats. But I’m with the dog: I prefer the business with treats.
It’s the Little “Treats” that Gain Customer Loyalty
So I did a quick comparison/contrast assessment. Both banks handle my money well, offer reasonable perks, and award the same amount of interest. They each use highly effective, state-of-the-art technology which allows me to access or transfer my money by ATM, iPad, laptop, and cell phone. Neither has ever miscounted my money, or made an error on a deposit slip, or answered my questions in an unsatisfactory manner. If a bank is just about, well, banking, there’s no reason to prefer one over the other. So it’s what happens besides business which wins me—and my pup–over as a loyal customer.
Both banks require proper identification, but the treat-teller greets me by name before she looks at my license. Both officially open the drive-through at 8:30, but treat-teller assists me at 8:25 if she’s gotten to work early and sees there’s a line forming. Both offer my kids lollipops, but the treat-teller remembers one strawberry, one rootbeer. Both even occasionally have long lines, but the treat-teller apologizes for the wait time and wishes me a great holiday weekend. And of course, only the treat-teller sends a gift for “that handsome boy in our lap”.
Until Fido barked, I had not noticed the pattern of my banking: Over the last few months, I had been doing more business with the bank that makes me feel good. In fact, I’m thinking of cutting my ties with the other bank completely. Because in today’s high-tech, high-volume, high-hurry world, the personal touch still matters. Feeling good matters. And sometimes, feeling good all comes down to a Milkbone.
Here’s our challenge for this week: What can you do today to add another personal “treat” to your client relations? What “Milkbones” do your employees regularly gift your customers, and where can you offer one more small thing to make your clients smile?