Send Roses to the Living – Keeping Your Best Customers

Sometimes the only time a person gets roses is when they have died. I'm betting that person would have appreciated the flowers more had they arrived during their life time. I've come to realize this in the last ten years and I've been spending more time with family and friends as the result of this observation.

But a bank I used to do business with didn't get this. I was a customer for seven years with this bank. And we were valued customers, which I found out after we left. But the bank kept adding fees to everything we did including online banking. I think they added these fees because they thought they had us hooked. But one year, after evaluating the $100s I was paying them, I opened a new account with a Credit Union and then tried to close my account.

You'd think closing an account would be easy, but I had to see a VP to close my account. So my wife and I wandered over to that desk and listened to the VP talking to his wife on the phone for five minutes. Finally he got off the phone and looked at the info from the teller. "Why are you closing your account?" he asked. "You are a valued customer. What can we do to keep you?"

My wife and I looked at each other. Then I said, "Your bank fees go up every year and for things that we think should just be free." The bank VP said, "We would have waved those fees had we known." That was such a ridiculous comment that we just clammed up and made him close the account. He tried to close the account while we waited but after another 15 minutes he said he would get back to us. The account wasn't actually closed for three months due to a 'computer malfunction'. This would have made a nice '60 Minutes' expose, don't you think?

How are you treating your best customers? This is something I think about constantly, even in my small part of business.

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