A Key to Customer Retention – Change your Clock

A Key to Customer Retention – Change your Clock



One of the things on my to-do list this weekend was  to take the kids’ piggy bank money to the bank and use the coin sorter to deposit it into their accounts.  Clearly, this is not a high priority chore, but after three months of having this nagging to do item in the back of my head, I finally remembered to put the pigs into the car and head toward the bank.

I wasn’t quite sure what their Saturday hours were, but thought there was a 50/50 shot either they closed at noon and I’d be out of luck or they closed a little later and I’d be fine.  I pulled into the parking lot and cruised past the front door to see Saturday hours – 9 to 1.  Woot!  My car clock said 12:53 so I just made it!

I got the pigs, got my daughter, and made it to the front door.  It was locked.  I pulled my phone out of my purse to double check.  After all, it is possible my car clock wasn’t set right.  But no, my phone said 12:54.

I knocked.  There were tellers behind the counter and two employees sitting behind their desks – the ones you go to when you want a loan.  They looked up.  I flashed them my phone (because of course they could see the time on it from 50 ft away) and they looked at me, then sheepishly hung their heads and turned away.

I was FURIOUS!  To the point where I tried to call that branch office to ask them what time it was so I could then lecture them that if it is 1:00 now, or slightly before, then 5 minutes ago when I was knocking on your door it was clearly before 1:00 and your doors should have been open.

After I couldn’t find the correct phone number and reminded myself that it had waited 3 months, another few days wasn’t going to matter – I thought about why I had been so mad when I wasn’t even sure the bank would be open in the first place.
If I had pulled into the parking lot and seen that Saturday business hours were 8 to 12 and therefore I was too late, I would never have thought twice about it.    I certainly would never have gotten to the point of trying to figure out an alternate bank for our accounts.
So here’s my advice for customer service and customer retention:

To Build Loyalty – Exceed Expectations

  • Have a business?  Put your operating hours on the door, but make sure your employees don’t stop taking customers until 15 minutes after the closing time has passed.
  • Work in an office?  People assume most office hours are 8 am to 5 pm.  Have someone available to start answering phones at 7:45 am and continue to take calls until 5:15 pm.
  • Fix cars or computers or some other service?  Call your customer a week later and ask how things are going.  Make it clear you care about them.
  • Own a flower shop?  Put your customer’s anniversary and wife’s birthday into a database and remind them a week before.
There are an infinite number of ways you can set yourself apart from your competitors.  Your area of business will determine what small thing you can do that will speak volumes.  In most cases it takes very little effort to make a big impact.
What  is your tip for customer retention?

2 Responses to A Key to Customer Retention – Change your Clock

  1. This sounds like a wonderful idea. I am pretty sure you could have deposited that money in less than 20mins. Its why I love Sams Club. They tell you they close at 9pm, but it just means that at 9pm no one else can come in but if you get there at 8:59pm you can still go in and do your shopping. That was very childish and unprofessional of the tellers. They could have at least be courteous by coming to the door to explain why they can’t attend to you. Thanks for the tips, it will come handy when I start my own company :P

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting Blessing!

      I did end up depositing it on Monday and was in and out in less than 15 minutes. They could have easily taken care of me and not left the bad feelings if they would have been coached about customer service and exceeding expectations.

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