How to Lose a Customer (Banking Version)


Given my past business in online currency exchange competing against the big banks, you may think I’m biased when I discuss the matter of bad service at a bank. However, there is a silver lining, where I switch my business over to a bank that does deliver on its promise.

Let’s start with the bad news, the bank is an example of how to lose a customer. This big 5 bank markets itself to be focused on small business accounts, with a competitive business account offering. when I first started my business the low priced business account and security of a big 5 bank spoke to me and I opened my account with them. Flash forward 3 years later they have done nothing for me in terms of small business service. They are basically earning (a minimal amount of) interest on my business earnings sitting in their account. I had tried several times to meet with my account manager, which kept switching and I wasn’t really sure who could give me advice I could trust; none of them seemed convinced of their own service offerings, and didn’t have any good ideas on helping me manage my free cash flow and how to grow my wealth.

Now let’s talk about the good news – the bank that will now get ALL of my business – TD bank. Their small business manager took care of opening my account, setting up my business credit card, setting up my business investment account, all in one meeting. He knew his numbers, knew how I could benefit and knew what mattered to me as a small business and analyzed my business needs based on the types of expenses incurred. I felt safe placing my hard-earned money into this bank because I sensed there was real expertise there. Honest to god most bankers have the level of financial understanding similar to a first year finance student. Would you trust them with you money?

What’s the key takeaway if you are managing a brand or doing marketing for a corporate brand?

Deliver on your marketing promises.

It’s as easy as that. The first bank failed to deliver on their promise to take care of small businesses because of the lack of knowledge at their account manager level to make value-add recommendations. Delivering on a brand promise is a combination of every touch point with the customer, it has to be consistent. I cannot stress that enough. Having a great product but bad service that is inconsistent will take you halfway with the customer (and they will drop you).

Think about this and see if there are any touch points with the customer you can improve on!