Culture and the customer experience

Photo credit: GotCredit Creative commons license

Photo credit: GotCredit Creative commons license

I often like to take care of an errand during my morning walk. It saves on gas and gives the walk a direction and purpose. This morning, I decided to walk over to the bank to close my account, having recently changed to a new bank. I looked on the web to see what time the branch opened – 7:30am. I arrived at the bank at 8:15 to find that only the drive-up opens at 7:30; the lobby opens at 9:00. Fine, I thought. The drive-up teller can probably close the account for me. Through a speaker that made it hard to hear with a video screen that showed only part of her face, the teller informed me that she couldn’t close the account. She didn’t apologize for my inconvenience; she just told me to come back when the lobby is open.

Part of why I am closing the account is that I’ve found this bank (like so many others) to be very inhuman. The people just don’t seem to care. My experience this morning validated that impression.

I’m just one customer and this is a large bank. I doubt I’ll be missed. But, how many of us are there, walking away from this bank because of the quality of our experience with the staff?

It’s all in the culture. This bank’s culture tells employees that there is no need to bother with customer relationships. This culture cares more about the transaction than the relationship. This customer is taking her business elsewhere because of that.

Is your culture driving customers away or bringing them closer? Is your culture costing you money or earning you higher profits?