How do you connect your customers to the Culture of Good? How do you create and maintain that rapport?
One of the major steps we take in building a Culture of Good is ensuring proper alignment. Much like a car that becomes misaligned, companies can experience the same fate and drift further and further from where they should be. One of the most frequent areas we have witnessed this misalignment is with customers.
Connecting with customers because your employees have been given permission to care is crucial.
Without giving your employees permission to care, customers are reduced from human beings with genuine needs to a financial transaction causing no genuine connection to take place. Connection and genuine care requires more than standard or even above par customer service. What would it look like to invite your customers into your company and invite them to build your culture with you? For an example I’ll share my own experience from a small town Credit Union where I have a couple loans.
1. Share your story and invite them in.”
I know the story of this particular bank. I’ve had the opportunity to sit and listen to why it opened, how after a factory shut down it almost had to close its doors on 2 occasions, what it took to revive it’s business, and how it got to build a new facility. I also know its heart for the community and why it chose to build a new facility right in the downtown of this city. I know enough of the story that I care about it even though I’ve moved a couple hours away. I drive and go out of my way to do business there because they’ve valued me enough to share their story with me and that matters. Do your customers know your story and do your employees have permission to share it?
2. Be a friend, and not just friendly.”
Not only do I know the story of the bank, I also know a lot about the President of this particular branch. He happens to be one of the most friendliest people I know and takes the time to share not only the story of the bank, but also his own story. I know his personal journey through difficult situations and what makes his heart skip a beat. I know he loves his kids because I never talk to him about loans without both of them becoming a part of the conversation. I know that his passion is taking items, properties, and people (including his employees) who need repaired and working tirelessly to restore them. He and I don’t go out for beers or visit each other’s homes, but when I talk to him at the bank we are friends. Most business people I talk to are professionally friendly, but I don’t consider them a friend. Do your customers consider you friendly or have you taken the time to make them feel like a friend?
3. Leave them with happy thoughts.”
I’ve never left this bank wishing I had done online banking. I don’t even think the bank has an app or even a site that allows for much to be transacted online. What they do have is the time to sit and talk to me like a human being. Typically a bank isn’t a place customers look forward to visiting, but I have to admit that I always do. One thing is for sure; the most compelling reason for me banking with them is not their location or their technology. The most compelling reason for me to do business with them is that I know their heart for the community that I am a part of and for that reason I’m not just a customer…I’m a friend.