Can We Learn About Customer Experience From a Bank?

122411_phillydeal25_400When I think about banks and customer service, the two for me just don’t go together. In my experience they tried to push us all out to vending machines by having long queues and closing branches. Then they opened branches again but don’t open until 9.30 and close at 4.00 – who runs a business like that? I do love internet banking though, so some good has come of it.

To my surprise I came across an article recently where a bank, (unfortunately not in Australia, or the States but the UK), has done some amazing things focussing on customer experience. And its working, Metro Bank, opened in March 2010 and have gone from Zero turnover to $5 Billion in just 5 years.

This is all without spending any money on marketing or advertising. There sole focus is to develop fantastic relationships with customers and utilise the power of word of mouth. Judging by their turnover, it’s certainly working. So how have they achieved such results?

Metro worked on a similar approach to Uber, where Uber looked at all the pain points of trying to catch a cab and fixed them, and have grown their business exponentially. Here are some of Metro’s stand out points:

  • Their call centre is manned (by local humans) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days of the year.
  • They open for much longer than 40 hours a week – each branch is open for 78 hours. They even open on Sundays!! Their focus is on acquiring customers, so they are ready and open whenever a new customer wants to come in.
  • Their policy is to open 10 minutes early and close 10 minutes late. How many times do you see people queuing outside a bank or post office and they never open before their strict opening time.
  • 15 Minute Guarantee to Open a New Account
  • Pet-Friendly Branches (Biscuits and Water for your pets who are ALWAYS welcome)
  • Coin Counting Machines to Make Things Simple for Customers
  • 20-30 New Jobs Added to Communities Where Branches Open
  • Generous Donations to Local Schools and Charities

Now you couldn’t call any of these points innovative, yet Metro Bank is enjoying fantastic growth in a stagnant industry. The Metro model is a great example of customer service experience management in practice and demonstrates the power that delivering on customer service can make in an industry.

I love these examples of businesses who come in and just do it so much better than the existing players.

So what is your business when it comes to delivering exceptional customer service? – A Big Four Bank or a Metro??

Roger SimpsonRoger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Retail Solution” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service and selling skills.