Alexey

  • So I’ve been thinking about what you guys talk about in here. There’s all the talk about how the bank can make things new and exciting with touchscreens, new layouts, fancy technology, and all sorts of big ticket features. I was thinking about something on a smaller level. Like, not even close to any of that. In the office I work at I noticed that…[Read more]

    • From a personal standpoint I would say yes, lighting does play a role in how comfortable people are with banking at a branch. At the most basic level, would you feel safe banking at a dimly lit business that you could barely see into? With money being the focus of your entire trip you want to ensure that all threats are visible before you step…[Read more]

      • I think that makes sense. It’s common sense to want to be safe, so lighting does that for you. The different kinds of light though? I’m kinda unsure about that one. I don’t realize it so maybe that’s why I can’t really agree, but the idea does seem like it could be true. I’ll agree with you on the safety thing though. That’s a big thing that I…[Read more]

    • Interestingly enough, Dean, I had read a publication about this very idea. I’ve included it here: (http://www.informedesign.org/_news/feb_v02-p.pdf) The concept of lighting is a fascinating one – one that shows that ambient and otherwise secondary sensory inputs can influence personality and action. As the article states, lighting can be used as…[Read more]

      • Thanks for the article, makes this seem like less of a stupid question. Plus it really backs up what Ray was trying to say. I wasn’t so sure about the whole different kinds of lighting before, but the article makes it clear that it makes sense. Different places use different styles of lights, kind of like how they have strobe lights and different…[Read more]

        • Well I guess that my idea does seem a bit more valid then. But light really does make us feel different. Safety is big, but it makes a setting totally different. A well lit room is worlds away from a room lit by a candle or nightlight – it just evokes a situation of literal night and day.

    • Hey, who doesn’t like mood lighting? You can’t go wrong with setting the scene, even if it is for a place as a bank which is all business and usually no fun. It’s kind of like when you walk into a bar or a restaurant. Usually it’s that sort of dim lighting that makes you feel relaxed and comfortable, or in my case sleepy. Basically, it keeps y…[Read more]

      • When you put it that way I remember how all kinds of places have a different mood when you walk in. Is it really the lighting that does that? I wanna say it’s the atmosphere, but that’s basically the lighting, huh? It’s crazy that a set of lights can change the entire feel of a place. Who would have knew?

    • Now let’s not get carried away here. They’re just lights. This isn’t like a door with a sign that says “do not disturb.” They’re lights and they really are just lights. You are making it sound like they can make something seem different, but they’re just lights. Maybe your coworkers are just like that and they are used to low lighting. Or…[Read more]

      • Now, Aaron, let’s not get too carried away when it comes to brushing off someone’s opinion, alright? Even things that seem unimportant to you may be important to someone else 🙂 Maybe you don’t care about lights, but how about other little things like decorations or chairs? There are all sorts of things that might matter to you but not anyone…[Read more]

      • But based off what everyone else said, they can be more than just lights. I don’t know who’s right and who’s wrong anymore, but it sounds like both of you are right. People don’t go to places they don’t wanna go, and it’s not like people decide to go to banks just because it’s a great place to be. But lights would help, wouldn’t they? Couldn’t…[Read more]

        • Aaron replied 6 years ago

          If you are thinking of an ant on an aircraft carrier tiny, then sure, lights matter. But when it’s that insignificant why bother making the change? The reputation is more important. The service is more important. The product is more important. Would you think the lights are as important as the rest of that? Are they as important as the actual bank…[Read more]

    • Dean, I really like how you notice the little things that people would overlook. 🙂 Lighting definitely plays a part. Why would you wanna do business in a place that doesn’t feel right? I know when I’m in a bank I like for it to be nice and bright. I want to see what’s around me and know my surroundings just in case something bad happens (not…[Read more]

      • Thanks, but now I’m not so sure about if we even have a right answer to my question. Most of you guys say yes, but Aaron says no. Sure, we want to feel safe, but shouldn’t we already feel safer in a building like a bank with all sorts of cameras and panic buttons? Why would we need lights as well? I like the idea of lights, they really do change…[Read more]

        • Everyone’s got their opinions, so you’ve got to sift through them and decide for yourself what you think, Dean. Only you can do that 🙂 Lights are a really minor thing if you think about everything that is in a bank, so don’t think that it’s the end-all, be-all of the bank and safety. They’re just something that helps everything else out, and we…[Read more]

  • James posted an update in the group Group logo of Relationship Centricity Relationship Centricity 6 years, 1 month ago

    Hello everyone! I am new to the community and this group. Actually, I found out about it from a BAI Article a few months back. I’m no expert, so I hope to learn a lot from everyone here so I can use it to improve my financial advising skills. I know this is really focused on banks, but I think that it makes sense as long as you’re dealing with customers.

    • I believe you will find what you are looking for in the Community. There is a variety of topics covered – everything from banking to food and travel – with everything tying back into the central idea of the overall customer experience and relationship. Many of the ideas discussed are from firsthand accounts by the Community members, and I bel…[Read more]

      • I’m looking forward to discussing all sorts of things with you guys. Hopefully you guys work a lot with financial stuff, that’s mainly what I’m here for. But I don’t mind some of the other things either, so maybe I’ll chime in for a few other topics too.

    • If you’re anything like me you’ll be learning something every time. I’m always the one asking questions, so if you’re thinking of asking something, trust me, I’m probably gonna end up asking too. But these are great people who point things out and make them clear. So you’re bound to have something to take away from here.

    • Great to have you James! 🙂 I think you’ll learn a lot from everyone here. Especially Michael, he’s the brains behind customer experience as far as I’m concerned! 😀 So stay tuned to Senteo and check out the other groups. You’ll find all sorts of great material. I recommend the articles that Michael writes. I’ve read all of them myself and I wou…[Read more]

      • Thanks! I’ll probably check them out once I’ve got time. Reading articles isn’t exactly my thing, so can’t promise you anything there. But maybe if I’ve got the time I’ll give them a once over.

    • Welcome to the Community, James. This is a place of discussion, insight, and learning for those experienced and inexperienced across the industry. There are times when the ideas presented may stray from the original goal of analyzing the banking industry, but there are still great insights to be had while applying theory to food, financial…[Read more]

      • Well I guess I’ve got my work cut out for me if I wanna learn about stuff here. I’ll go check out some of the older stuff I guess. Articles, maybe another time. But I’ll be sure to jump in and get my word out when I feel like I need to.

    • Don’t expect to get much out of these guys. Most of them are so convinced that this is the miracle cure for banking and almost any industry. Trust me, there’s some good stuff that’s thrown out there every once in a while, but I’m pretty sure I’m the only one making sense most of the time.

      • I’ll keep it in mind, but I’m still gonna try to keep my eyes and ears open. Like you said, there’s some good stuff here and there, and that’s what I’ll be looking out for.

  • You guys are always talking about these restaurants and how they have nice decorations or a fancy layout, but is that really what we need? I just went to the bank the other day and thought to myself that this is a simple, efficient way to get your banking needs done. Things are open and you can tell where you need to go once you walk into the…[Read more]

    • Aaron, while I do respect your opinion on the aesthetic layout of the bank branch, I do not believe you are fully internalizing how important it is to create a unique banking location. The design of a bank is of great consequence because it helps to serve as one of the few differential attributes of banks. Besides price points, most banks are…[Read more]

      • I haven’t seen a bank that’s been able to pull that off properly. Yeah, a nice looking bank is great, but when they look nicer it doesn’t always mean that the rest of the bank is still up to snuff. Why bother with the fancy curtains and chairs when your business model starts falling apart? If banks have been around for centuries then why should we…[Read more]

        • If you would allow me to refer you to a previous post in this group, I would recommend a posting by Alexey almost a year prior that shows how a bank can renovate, innovate, and improve upon an already stalwart business model. As one of the largest banks in all of Europe, Sberbank shows that even the largest bank in Russia has room for growth,…[Read more]

    • There are no obvious reasons to make a bank more than the most efficiently designed location possible, but the intangible is what you are aiming for when creating the bank layout. The aim of a nice place is to give customers a reason to walk in and spend time there. Right now, banking is becoming less about the branch and more about how the bank…[Read more]

      • I’ll tell you the same thing that I’ve said before: what is the point if the banks who try this end up failing? Most banks who give this a shot end up making mistakes that cost them business. Many end up losing money on the improvements that don’t seem to bring in enough customers to make up for the costs. Bankers can’t tell if new decor will make…[Read more]

        • Of course you cannot quantify the exact number of customers than an improved design will attract; you cannot simply measure something as intangible as customer interest. However, you can make an educated estimate as to the overall reach and impact it has upon current and potential customers. Based on comparable facilities such as a doctor’s office…[Read more]

          • As much as I would love to argue with you I feel like you just won’t get it. Banks are efficient because they don’t waste time and money on useless things. There’s a reason why banks are able to put so much focus on being efficient – they put the money towards it. Staff are better, operations are better, the products are better – why would you…[Read more]

    • Now, Aaron, you should know that the bank can be a little boring. Who wants to just sit around and wait with quiet elevator music in the typical office chairs when the bank is busy? Wouldn’t most people want something that will get them in good spirits rather than putting them to sleep? Sure, banks have got their system down and we all can use i…[Read more]

      • No one goes and talks about their banks. That is private matters that you keep to yourself for a reason: because no one wants or should know about what you do with your money. Are you going to strike up conversation about how your bank now has nicer desks or a glass counter? These sorts of things make no real difference beyond the 5 seconds when…[Read more]

    • What is so great about having a barebones bank? What do you like about it so much and hate about the fancier modern banks? I’m not too particular about my bank, so I don’t get why you care so much.

      • I don’t like how modern banks forget that they are still banks. They act like they’re museum galleries, having all sorts of fancy displays and designs when they can’t even keep their banking business up to date and in order. Some day they’ll figure it out, but until then I don’t think it’s a good idea to make your bank nice but not functional.

      • What Aaron is specifically targeting are the banks that fail to maintain their efficiency and standards post-renovation. He is correct – some banks attempt to innovate their business but fail miserably in maintaining their level of service – but there are those that are able to continue providing their customers with the level of service expected…[Read more]

  • Dean posted an update in the group Group logo of Relationship Centricity Relationship Centricity 6 years, 2 months ago

    If you’re like me, you shop at whatever store is most convenient for you. For me, that means shopping at my local Kroger store and using my loyalty card to rack up points. I get that the card gives me discounts and coupons, but I’ve always wondered why they don’t use the information about me to give me personalized ads. They know what I buy, they…[Read more]

    • Dean, this is a great point! With all of the money I’m spending at their store, I’ve always wondered why they don’t throw me a bone (like the ones I buy for my dogs at their store!) I would love to get free stuff and probably would shop there for even more things if they gave me a reason to. 🙂 As long as they’re not handing my contact info ou…[Read more]

      • I believe that the difficulty with grocery stores using customer data lies with how to utilize the data effectively without overstepping personal space. Implementing a system that harvests and targets specific customers can be expensive, and if it does not create a steady influx of regular customers then it will not be a profitable experience.…[Read more]

        • I would have to agree with Ray and his stance on this topic; customer data is sensitive and requires finesse when considering options for utilizing the data. While it may seem beneficial to have targeted contact from your grocery store, it can also be seen as an invasion of privacy. This is similar to the emails you sometimes receive from…[Read more]

          • But can’t you just unsubscribe from this sort of stuff that way they don’t use your data? Kinda like with stores when they ask for your emails. Just tell them you don’t want to be marketed to personally and they won’t use your personal info. Wouldn’t that be an easy way to get some good marketing out there to get people to start shopping with you?

            • As much as I hate to admit it, unsubscribing from that sort of stuff is a total pain. 🙁 That’s probably why they don’t do it that way. It’s why people always use junk emails when they sign up at stores. It would be so much worse if they started using random addresses too. Think about it, you use a random address and then that person gets your…[Read more]

    • The ways that grocery stores use your information does not have to be as blatant as giving you a coupon for your favorite product. There are thousands of people who go to the grocery store and to cater to each person individually would be very expensive. Maybe you have noticed that instead of having three flavors of the chips you always buy, they…[Read more]

      • Don’t you think it would be better to just give us coupons we want to use instead? I just want to get my groceries cheaper. Would you want to pick more features or anything like that over prices?

        • The thing with coupons is that you need to have them in order to use them. When you go to the grocery store you do not always have all of your trip planned out, and that might mean leaving coupons at home because you wanted to stop by and pick up some things on the way home from work. I highly doubt a second trip would be made because you can pick…[Read more]

    • What you most consider in this situation is how you want your grocery store, or whatever store for that matter, to use the information it has gathered about you. Usually, this information is gathered and aggregated to account for all customers in order to better understand overall buying behavior and tailor the store accordingly. While there is…[Read more]

      • What if there were conditions that made it impossible to raise prices like that? Maybe if they tied the prices so all stores had to change them and not just individual ones, would that make it so we could use the purchasing activity?

        • Well it would remedy the situation a little, but you must consider how that would hamper the sales of the other products in the store. If one product – let’s say milk – was being sold at a a certain price and attracting huge amounts of traffic, then increasing the price of the milk to competitive levels would mean increasing the price of other…[Read more]

    • So you want the stores to abuse the information they have on you? You must be really naïve to think that this would be a good idea. These stores know everything about you – where you live, when you’re in their store, what you’re buying from them. Just based off the stuff you buy they can guess what your diet is like. Your parents couldn’t even tel…[Read more]

      • Why wouldn’t you want the store to use it? They have the info already, might as well put it to use. Wouldn’t you want them to send you coupons on the stuff you buy most?

        • Unlike you, I prefer my privacy and like knowing that grocery stores aren’t using my info for no good reason. Is your privacy worth a dollar off a gallon of milk?

  • Sorry for posting so often in this group, but I just wanted to share another great experience I had with a unique take on a typical business. Insert Coins is a bar I stopped by in downtown Las Vegas last week with a few friends and I was happily surprised to see the amount of innovation and effort made to create a one of a kind experience. The bar…[Read more]

    • This place looks pretty cool and I know anyone who grew up when arcade games were first coming onto the scene will love it. Do you think this is more suited for the younger generation (25-34) or the older people who lived through the era? If arcades failed nationwide before, what makes you think this one will stick around for long?

      • Do you really think that this is a great concept? This place is best suited for bankruptcy. You’re going to get all sorts of problems with people spilling drinks and breaking equipment. People who like games will have their own systems to play on. They don’t need to come to the bar and spend money to play and drink. There’s a reason arcades went…[Read more]

        • Oh come on Aaron, you know that the place will do just fine. I’m sure the owners probably thought about that way before you did. 🙂 If I had to guess they already have something in place to cover the costs of broken equipment or charge customers who break things. Plus, if people didn’t wanna go out and spend money places then they would drink at…[Read more]

      • Let me reply to both of you at once to save some time and space. Dean, this most likely will be aimed at the younger audience. While I do include your age bracket within my estimates, I would dare to say that it would be even wider, ranging from ages 21 all the way to age 40. This is because many of the newer video games and consoles will be…[Read more]

      • Dean, you’ll learn that bars have a way of staying in business. People will always be willing to drink, and if you give them a place to do it then there will be some pretty good business. 🙂 Plus, it’s not just younger people who like playing games. I love playing Galaga, Pac-Man, and Centipede as much as anyone who grew up with the game, and if…[Read more]

    • It’s sad to see you getting so excited for another run of the mill bar. Having an arcade is just like having TVs so it’s a sports bar. In the end people want drinks, and this is exactly what will draw them in. Sure, they’ll like the lights and old games, but do you think they’re going to be going there to check out games or to have a few drink…[Read more]

      • The business is not trying to trick anyone into not thinking that it is a bar. Insert Coins is a bar at the end of the day, but the fact that it offers an arcade-style experience is quite a theme. There are games there to encourage people to sit and stay, leading to the purchase of more drinks and more profit for the business.

    • The concept of setting themes for bars has been around for years, but this is one of the most unique concepts I have seen. There is a wide appeal for an establishment such as this; there are those who will appreciate the older arcade games that they played when they were first released, but also there will be those who will come to play the modern…[Read more]

      • I agree that this is something that I would never have thought of when thinking of themes for a bar. Typically most bars will attempt to create a sports-minded atmosphere to attract patrons interested in baseball, football, soccer, etc. but modeling the bar after an arcade is a unique idea. What I would say, though, is that the concept may run…[Read more]

        • Yes, as with most bar concepts there is the risk of fading into obscurity due to the fact that society’s views are dynamic. There is rarely a safe haven when it comes to innovation. As you stated, video game consoles are finding increasing competition from mobile gaming, and this is a sign that Insert Coins will have to work much harder to…[Read more]

    • Now this place looks like it’d be a lot of fun! 🙂 Can you imagine people being able to go to a bar and see games that they played when they were kids? Bringing childhood and mixing it with a few drinks definitely sounds like a fun way to spend a night. Plus imagine what a great conversation starter it would be to go there and discuss what you d…[Read more]

      • It is quite a fun place to have a few drinks. I even had the opportunity to play a few of the games I had played in my youth like Donkey Kong. Most of my friends were playing on the more modern systems, but it was such a rush to be able to relive my childhood again, if only for a few minutes. Rather than just sitting and chatting, my friends were…[Read more]

        • Do you think the drinks help the experience or really just are on the side? Is the bar center stage or the games?

          • Hey, now, it is a bar, right? So that means that the drinks are tops when it comes to what everyone’s there for. Those games that are there are just conversation starters until the drinks get the blood flowing. 🙂 But I haven’t been there yet so let’s wait til Ray gets his word in 🙂

          • From my one time being there I would say that the bar is definitely the most prominent factor of the bar. It is in the center of the entire establishment, glowing and illuminating the room with a very warm light. Considering that the games draw much of your attention, it is hard to say that the bar is always the center of attention. However, after…[Read more]

  • After watching Gordon Ramsay and his show for years, I decided to finally try one of his restaurants and see if his cooking really did warrant everyone’s raving reviews. Unlike the typical restaurant, Gordon Ramsay Steak seeks to stray from the typical steakhouse atmosphere while still maintaining the level of quality associated with the chef. I w…[Read more]

    • Gordon Ramsay is truly a character to watch, and his personality is a refreshing departure from the stuffiness of traditional chefs; he is brutally honest and adheres to a high standard of quality without compromise. I had never heard of this steakhouse, but the pictures reflect his very modern, creative personality. The bar alone seems like it…[Read more]

      • Could you tell all of that from the pics? That is amazing. What do you think sets this apart from any other steakhouse? Better yet, besides the food, what makes this place so special and fancy?

        • The restaurant industry is always looking for ways to stand out, and modernizing their atmosphere is a terrific way to add a unique element to their cuisine. Your mood changes when you are placed in certain settings and situations, and like you said, the dimly lit room and loud music must have given you a sense of adrenaline similar to what you…[Read more]

      • You really are an insightful guy, Stan. I didn’t analyze the place as much as you did! On top of that you seem to know your stuff when it comes to relationship and customer centricity 🙂 Do you think a place like this could function as well without all the bright lights and fancy waiters? There are alot of plain Jane steakhouses out there, but…[Read more]

        • I might be jumping the gun since Stanley has not commented yet, but I think that the restaurant would do fine because of the food they serve. The service and atmosphere is great, but the food is probably the most important piece of the puzzle. Prices would drop and there would be less traffic, but the restaurant could probably sell their food out…[Read more]

          • Well I don’t think Stan noticed my question, so thanks for answering! I guess when it comes to products, you really are selling the entire package. If the stuff is good it will sell, but if the stuff is good and looks cool it’ll sell for more.

            • I am sorry for not getting back to you sooner. I agree with Ray Andrew and his belief that the restaurant would be successful regardless of whether or not it boasted a unique staff and atmosphere. The primary reason that restaurants are opened is because the cuisine is something to be experienced. Gordon Ramsay may be a celebrity chef, but prior…[Read more]

      • Honestly I’m just as stunned as the others. You really did nail it; when I walked around it really did feel like three different environments. The bar area we sat in was so much more crowded, loud, and lively. Walking to the bathroom took me through the regular dining area, which was so much more composed and reserved. But the second floor just…[Read more]

    • I’ve never eaten at his restaurants but I’ve heard of Gordon Ramsay. Do you think the style and appearance of the restaurant made the experience better, or was it the food? Were the servers different from how they would be at other restaurants? So was the atmosphere different from the usual restaurant? This looks and sounds like a high class spo…[Read more]

      • Let me try to answer these in order.
        Well, the food was great, but I think the atmosphere made it better. You could really just lose yourself in that environment.
        Servers were very friendly and engaging. Not only were the men handsome and girls sexy, but they knew the menu and did great when it came to matching our energy and emotion.
        This was…[Read more]

        • So would you say that it was a mix of a sports bar and a steakhouse? Reminds me of somewhere like Applebee’s but a whole lot fancier.

    • This place looks awesome! Ultra modern and lively, plus music and good looking servers to keep the energy flowing? Sounds like a place I wanna visit 🙂 Banks need to pick up on this and renovate their branches to be fresh and new like this restaurant! Imagine how much more fun it would be to have better music, modern designs, and colored lighting…[Read more]

      • It really is quite different from the restaurants I’m used to. I think banks really could learn a lesson from this and try to spice up their branches. I thought it was fun and got me in good spirits just walking into the restaurant, and I think banks could do the same if they got to renovating their buildings and staff.

    • I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, restaurants are selling the experience just as much as they are selling a food. Do you think your little steak was worth $50 because the meat itself is worth that much or the time and skill used to cook it costs that much? You’re paying to sit at a nice restaurant, and that’s exactly what they keep in…[Read more]

      • No, the steak itself probably was not worth what I paid, but the entire experience was. You are right, restaurants need to sell their design and their atmosphere to command the prices they do, but who says banks cannot do the same? We pay good money for food and service, and I know there are people who would pay more to have better service at a…[Read more]

        • Banks do not strive for fancier branches or radically changed service because that isn’t what they’re there to do. You sit in a restaurant and enjoy your food there. Meals take a while, so having a nice place and waiters coming back and forth is expected. No one would wait around in a dump.
          No one decides to spend an hour sitting at a bank and…[Read more]

      • You know, you shouldn’t knock the review because you probably would enjoy the restaurant as much as Ray did. But I love your response. You know why? Because you’re saying the most important part of the restaurant experience is the experience itself! That’s exactly what Michael and Senteo are trying to explain – the customer experience is vital to…[Read more]

        • If the food is good then of course I’ll enjoy it. I don’t like his conclusions, not the restaurant. I’ve explained it multiple times: banks are not in business to sell experiences. Restaurants may have food, but you’re really paying for someone to wait on you and take care of you while you eat. Banks are in business to make sure your money…[Read more]

  • I went in to have my car’s oil changed over the weekend and realized that the auto shop is not the greatest place to do business. The place is usually empty, loud, and boring, and since you can’t exactly drive home to wait, taking your car in for repairs is not a great experience. Do you think shops like this can improve the way they do bus…[Read more]

    • It sounds like the shops you are talking about are those garages in the plazas and strip malls that keep garages and workshops in the back. These are really different than using a dealership for repairs. For those smaller garages, it all depends on who owns it and how they operate. I usually just do my own maintenance on my car, but for bigger…[Read more]

      • Why do you think they have such a skeleton lobby and crew? Most waiting places have a receptionist and things to do. Do you think they need a better system?

    • These auto shops are better off keeping everything the same right now. You don’t usually stick around after you bring your car in for maintenance. Someone usually will take you home until the job is done unless it’s a 15 minute oil change or something quick like that. So why would you even bother upgrading a lobby no one really is using? This is…[Read more]

      • Fixing cars is the most important part, but rates will end up being the same because almost all services are standardized for time. The only real difference between shops is the hourly rate they charge, and it will always be high. Plus, not everyone is able to leave when their car is being worked on. Would it kill them to consider these people…[Read more]

        • Yes, it could kill their business. Say they improved the lobby, but the money they used could have gone to new equipment in the garage. Equipment that broke right after the lobby was redone. Now you have a businesses that can’t operate because they needed fancy chairs and a tv. Shops need to focus on what matters for operation, and that is price…[Read more]

    • To truly answer this question requires a bit of context so that we understand what, and more specifically who, we are dealing with. As with all businesses, automotive repair is typically targeted towards specific consumers due to the variety of vehicles available in the market. Different brands and styles of vehicle will attract different…[Read more]

      • Sorry about not being clearer. I guess you can say I’m referring to the auto shops that you find outside of the dealership, like the independent locations. I’m not talking about the Pep Boys or the Tireworks that have corporate standards. But I understand what you’re talking about. People have different standards so auto shops need to make…[Read more]

        • This truly boils down to the very nature and cost of doing business. Yes, you are correct in assuming that some customers will be alienated by changes or lack thereof. However, just as you cannot please everyone in a room, you cannot make changes that all of your customers will approve of. The goal of the business is to make changes that best suit…[Read more]

          • You’re half right. People want the best equipment when someone is working on their car. What’s a nice, new lobby to a shop with dated tire machines and pneumatic lifts? No matter who it is or what car they’re driving, people want the job done well, and better equipment does that.

    • Those are the best places for a real honest mechanic though! I love my mechanic and we are good friends. 🙂 Sure, the place could use a little work, but you won’t get the same relationship with a dealership. For something like my car, I think the person is way more important than the store, so who cares about a fancy lobby if the mechanic is mean!…[Read more]

      • Well what if your mechanic was a saint but couldn’t fix your car like he said? How about if the only other mechanic was mean but could get the job done properly faster than the nice mechanic? Nice doesn’t mean anything if they can’t get their jobs done.

  • Hi everyone! Ron Hostetter here – consultant. Just wanted to say hello and introduce myself to the community :)I’ve been lurking in the community for a while, but I finally feel like I should poke my head out and share some insight. I love Senteo’s work and Michael’s articles because they are so true and match how banks have dropped the ball wh…[Read more]

    • The banking industry is an adamant industry that does not change its pace over the years. It is difficult to really clarify just how ingrained the banking industry is with its business practices. This is a beast that has withstood the test of time, needing very little in terms of operational overhaul since its inception, and likewise it is…[Read more]

      • Thanks for replying Stan! I didn’t notice that Svetlana already talked about banks and relationship centricity, so I’m glad you showed this to me (I’m always trying to find out more about Senteo and their views!). I guess Michael’s view of relationship centricity hasn’t been widely tested yet, so banks are not sure if they want to give it a shot.…[Read more]

        • They could not benefit because there’s a good chance they’ll lose money by doing it. It’s that simple. If it really was working as well as you say, they wouldn’t only try it in a few bank branches. Obviously something isn’t going well enough for them to want to make it large scale.

    • Welcome to the Community, Ron! I would say banks are having trouble playing a big part in people’s lives because they are not sure how to do it. You don’t know what makes people tick right off the bat – you have to get to know them first. That is where banks fail, though, because they are not willing to take that first step and try to find out w…[Read more]

      • Thanks Ray! 🙂 Banks sound like they’re just being shy and don’t want to rub anyone the wrong way, but they would do so much better if they just took risks. If banks don’t take risks and reach out to their customers then they will end up being forgotten and left behind.

    • Bankers are smart not to listen to what people like Michael think about the banking industry. Banks do fine with the strategy they use now, and they’ll keep doing fine if they just stick to their guns and keep doing what works. Why do they need to have a relationship with the customers if customer only goes there to get things done? Banks are p…[Read more]

      • I think you’re wrong, Aaron. Senteo makes it clear that the customer relationship is important for businesses to be successful. Communication and culture are just as important as the products that the banks offer to their customers. More customers will come to the banks if the banks are willing to speak with them and work towards their goals, and…[Read more]

        • Banks are in business to make a profit and the consumer knows that. If banks were out there to just help the consumer then they would give fair rates and act in the customer’s best interest. That’s not how it is, though, and that makes people question the banks. There is always a hidden motive for bankers to contact the customer, and if I was…[Read more]

          • That is why the way a bank reaches out to the customer is so important. Like you said, banks are in the business of making money so they need to make it clear that they are contacting you for mutual benefit. It may be hard to come off that way, but it is doable.

    • Hi Ron! I think banks don’t like engaging people because it costs money to have people spend that extra time with them. These guys are big business with the big bucks on their mind, so if you and I aren’t the biggest fish in the sea it’s basically just catch and release. I’m pretty sure if I was Bill Gates they’d be swooning over me, treating…[Read more]

      • Hi Dean 🙂 Banks do give special treatment to the really wealthy customers, but they would probably do just as well if they paid special attention to the regular Joe, too! Talking to my account manager would probably be enough to convince me to open up a new account or put more of my money away. Once they have a few people trained to talk to…[Read more]

        • Really it is all about field testing the system. I don’t think banks would be willing to go for a full overhaul of how they do business, but it should come in trial form before they make a decision. If you think about food there are restaurants that will roll out new products in limited locations, and if it does not do well they axe the product early.

  • Yes… yesterday was my birthday. Why am I posting about it ? Interestingly, I got a “happy birthday” e-mail from a hotel that I visited one time, for two nights, in Jakarta, Indonesia, in 2008. Now, why is that interesting, and why is that relevant to relationship-centricity ? I am torn between how to dissect this incident…

    It would have…[Read more]

    • This is very in testing, Michael. So, Indonesian location has it’s own CRM system that “doesn’t talk” to other locations. I guess it would depend on their company structure, but it seems like they have a very decentralized approach. Do you think it would change customer’s perception if the message is sent by the corporate office?

      Personally, I…[Read more]

      • I agree with both of you, Michael and Svetlana. I think it only brings more attention to the opportunities that they missed by sending a birthday wish so late in the game. I would have like to see a message come for the upper management that said…. Wow! We notice we had not acknowledged your birthday in the past; however, we are trying to…[Read more]

    • Odd that they would do that to you. This is sort of a double-edged sword for the company: on one hand, they did well to send you a message, but on the other, this message should have been ongoing instead of just happening now. Possibly they just implemented this system and that is why you only received this message recently? Regardless, it is an…[Read more]

    • Michael, first off let me begin by saying “Belated happy birthday!” This is quite the interesting story. To think that a hotel chain, especially one that is multinational, could make such a mistake is shocking. Like everyone has already said, a more personal message would have been more appropriate in this case considering how you are a regular…[Read more]

    • Just curious, which hotel chain did you say at? Sounds like they aren’t treating you with respect. Was the email one of those generic ones where they just throw your name at the top and send it? I just junk those types of emails because they usually are sent by a computer instead of by someone who actually cares.

    • Sounds like they blew you off for a few years and want you back now. Agree with Ray that they might just have set up the system, but still they should have said something every year.

    • Happy birthday Michael! I love your work and think that what you’re doing with relationship centricity is great for banks and for consumers!
      I don’t think that hotel chain is doing the right thing for it’s customers. They need to be more customer centric and create a more innovative customer experience if they want to get better. Maybe you need to…[Read more]

  • After reading The Ultimate Question 2.0 by Fred Reichheld, it is clear that customers are at the heart of all business success due to their influence in both referring and refuting a business. One company in particular is one we deal with on a regular basis: Apple. Within the book, Fred talks about how the company emphasizes the Net Promoter Score…[Read more]

    • I’m not convinced by Apple’s methods for earning a customer’s trust and building their loyalty to the brand through the relationship experience. Even though it was years ago, I can still remember when I first bought the iPhone 4 back in 2010. Touted as a top-of-the-line product, right off the bat I was hit by a host of issues, namely the signa…[Read more]

      • I think you’re missing the point in your own argument though. Apple heard the grievances and responded! Big companies, especially ones as big as Apple, can hush the media and try to sweep issues like this under the rug, but they responded. Giving out free cases or replacing phones may have been a solution made after the problem appeared, but they…[Read more]

        • While I do not doubt that Apple’s response was great, I have to side with Aaron and his displeasure. A company as large and successful as Apple should not have made such a mistake in the first place. In hindsight, I am sure that Apple executives were frustrated because the technological gaffe that they made probably resulted in a loss of customers…[Read more]

          • I worked during the iPhone 4S issues and I can say firsthand that it really made us scramble. There were lots of angry customers, but just as many were happy we were fixing the issue, even if it was just replacing their phone. I don’t have the numbers, but I think that Apple still gained more customers than lost.

      • Thank you for responding, Aaron. It sounds like your experience with Apple was less than pleasurable, and it seems like Apple’s customer service and methods are not always as impeccable as they are portrayed to be. I am sure others share your emotions and perception of Apple as a brand, but this makes me wonder why there are those who would stand…[Read more]

    • Avid Apple user here. I liked Apple for product design and how easy it was to use. That was the first baby step. My real first experience was when I bought my phone at the Apple Store. The people there were helpful and taught me how to use my device. The place looked open and bright, too. All those computers and iPads around the room, pretty cool…[Read more]

      • I’m glad to see someone who uses Apple on a regular basis was able to respond. Your insight is invaluable; since I do not use any Apple products nor do I frequent their stores, it is intriguing to hear that the Apple employees play such a big role in their company’s success. Little details like the lighting within the physical stores is also a…[Read more]

        • I don’t know if they planned any of it. The room just looked clean and simple. I think the products just looked cool because it was just a table and the iPhone or whatever they had. Do you think the layout of the room helps?

    • For me, Apple seems to get most of its luster from the way people feel about the products, and I can say that because I worked in tech support for them at one point – people just feel like they’re better because they use Apple. For me, I remember when the iPhone first came out and my friend was one of the few people who ended up buying it (he was…[Read more]

      • Not only did you have the opportunity to interact with someone who was an original iPhone user, but you also had the pleasure of being employed by Apple! I can only imagine what thoughts and emotions went through your head as your friend’s purchase went from merely a new phone to the “it” product of the decade. I can see that you echo my thoughts…[Read more]

        • Honestly, as someone who was troubleshooting iPhones and iPads, I can really say that I just don’t like how cocky some people are because they own Apple. I wasn’t really jealous of my friend’s iPhone, but I did think it was pretty cool. I doubt many people are jealous because there are other devices that are just as good. So jealousy – no, not…[Read more]

    • Agree with Stan that it’s all about the culture. You look cool with an iPhone. You can talk about apps and how to use the phone better with other people. I think we just like being with similar people, and when you have an iPhone you get to join the club and mingle with other users.

      • It really is just human nature to be with people that are like us, so when you have millions of users that have the iPhone, having one of your own brings that mentality that you are part of the “it” crowd. Thank you for responding, Dan.

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