Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Special Aspirin: Whose Service Makes You Smile?

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Special Aspirin: Whose Service Makes You Smile?

Article excerpt

The online Pass the Aspirin has been hosting a discussion where bankers talk about superior service they've experienced at nonbank businesses that they think banks could learn from. Add you story at www.ababj.com/blog/1331.html

Remedy 1: Grace under pressure

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Paul Jarosz, senior vice-president and director of government compliance, Oxford Bank & Trust, $612.4 million-assets, Oak Brook, Ill.

A few years ago I went to the local Enterprise on a Saturday to rent a minivan for the weekend. The place was jammed with folks waiting for their cars, and as I recall there was only one young guy working the desk.

Folks were very irritated and this guy was doing all he could do to move product. I remember how calm and polite he was. Didn't seem hassled, and treated everyone nicely. I was so impressed, and sorry for his predicament, that I didn't get too aggravated waiting for the van. In fact, I was so impressed with his grace under pressure that I was actually thinking of asking for his card to see if he would be interested in working at our bank. We are really big on customer service and I figured that even if he didn't know banking, he would be such a great asset that we would teach him.

Remedy 2: They wrote the book

Jake Caraway, vice-president and vice-chairman, First National Bank, $381.4 million-assets, Granbury, Texas

The Sewell Companies, a group of auto dealerships, out of Dallas, is the best at customer service. In fact, their owner, Carl Sewell, wrote the book, Customers For Life (Crown Business/Random House). Anyone in retail should read it. My wife and I have purchased six cars from his dealerships. Each time, the sales staff is very friendly and glad to see you. I have never felt pressured to buy a car. Their service department staff is the best. You are greeted immediately when you drive up by someone who asks what you need and gets you a service writer. Mr. Sewell's beliefs have been communicated to each and every member of the staff and they follow through. All businesses can take a lesson from this business on how to treat customers.

Remedy 3: Keep that "edge"

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Frank Carson, president and CEO, Carson Bank, $84 million-assets, Mulvane, Kan.

The annual Kansas Bankers Association CEO Conference is held at the Broadmoor Hotel, Colorado Springs. The Broadmoor has excelled year after year at great customer service. …

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