Thursday, February 14, 2013

Three Golden Rules

You don’t need a marketing degree to know great service when you see it. Unfortunately, most of us don’t experience the kind of over-the-top service that creates customer loyalty. I think the Golden Rule—treat others as you would like to be treated—still applies in both the online and face-to-face marketplace.

As consumers we want three things: value, respect and a little extra.
·        Value – We all want to save time and money.
·        Respect – We just want to be treated like we are valued.
·        A Little Extra – A free smile, remembering our name, a friendly comment. It’s all just icing on the cake…so sweet!

Today, I visited my neighborhood bank—one the largest in the nation—and I saw the Golden Rule in action. I like this bank for their friendly staff, not for their interest rates. Everyone in this branch treats their customers with respect and they always give us a little bit extra.

When you walk in the door, a manager or bank employee greets you with a smile and a warm welcome. If you’re a regular, like me, they’ll address you by name. There’s always a bowl of colorful lollipops on the counter, if you’re hungry or just need a sugar lift. I know that the ATM is more convenient, but great service is an important part of my banking experience. It’s a valuable asset to me.

Many banks and credit unions offer the same services, but it’s nice to feel the warm touch of personalized service. Super service seals the deal when it comes to customer loyalty. I know it keeps me coming back!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

My Take on the State of the Union

President Obama hit a home run last night in his State of the Union speech. He covered the usual topics (deficits, gun control) and dropped in a few surprises (raise the minimum wage and address climate change). Florida Senator Marco Rubio gave the GOP response. It was a very weak speech for someone who's been anointed the "Republican savior" and a rising political star.

From a communications standpoint, Rubio looked unsure of himself, his delivery was timid and he did not give a strong rebuttal of Obama's speech. If you are a leader, who wants to make a convincing argument or sway public opinion, you've got to give 100%. The Rubio speech was an example of how not to deliver a powerful message.

Great speeches grab our attention, throw out new ideas to consider and give us a call to action. Obama opened his speech by quoting JFK and closed by calling on Congress to take action in the face of growing gun violence that's mowing down innocent victims at school, in our streets and at home. Bravo, Mr. President. Take notes, Senator Rubio!