Are We Appreciating Our Customers?

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  I’m very fortunate, I don’t even need to travel far to spend time with family and friends to enjoy great fellowship and food.  The result is my idea of a perfect holiday.  It is a holiday that so far has escaped mandatory decorations, exchanging of gifts and dressing up in costumes – some of the hubbub that consumes other holidays.  To me, Thanksgiving focuses on taking time to consider and appreciate what we already have.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve followed a conversation from a group of people ( twitter hashtag #RespectThanksgiving) expressing their dismay about the activities that seem to indicate we are skipping over this day of thanks.  The bell ringers, Christmas commercials, store decorations and carols are starting earlier each year.  This rush to the gift-giving holidays, has more to do with Retailers jockeying for the largest share of revenue, than a larger, more sinister meaning.   But what if our rushing over the Thanksgiving holiday to get on to the buying season is a broader reflection — that we can not appreciate what we have.

We asked 6,115 customers who had recently completed a teller transaction, opened a new account in a branch or spoke with a call center representative if the representative had thanked them for their business (U.S. credit unions and banks).  Overall, we found that only 88% of the customers remembered being “thanked”.

Let’s think about the impact of this number…if your branch conducts 6,000 transactions per month, 1,320 of those transactions are ending without the customer being thanked in a way that is memorable.  Don’t skip over that important number, it was – one thousand, three hundred and twenty in each branch, each month.

Saying “thank you” is an acknowledgement that your customers have many choices and you appreciate that they have chosen you as their financial partner.  Every customer should be thanked for their business, every time they interact with a bank employee.  It is a small thing, with such a big meaning and impact.

Before we rush through Thanksgiving to the next holiday, we should pause to consider thanking our customers for their business.  And to you, the readers of this blog and our clients, we sincerely thank you.  You are very much appreciated by all of us at Prime Performance.  Have a great holiday season.

Here is another blog posting that details more about the research referenced above; The Power of Thanks at Banks.