Beyond Bad Customer Service

Shel Holz is a well-known business consultant and social media guru.  His son was recently re-deployed to Iraq.  Shel writes on his blog about his nightmare experience trying to deposit money into his son’s account.  To make matters worse, here’s how the bank describes itself on its web site:

"You’ll know it right away: We’re really not like other banks.


We’re informal, friendly and fun. We take our customers’ money
seriously, but not ourselves. We even call ourselves by a fun name that
started out as a nickname years ago: WaMu.


We’re the bank for everyday people.

In fact, we believe no one else focuses on consumers, small business
and commercial customers like we do. We listen to our customers and
give them what they value–yet at the same time we make banking simple
and enjoyable."

To make a long story short (You can read the long version on Shel’s blog.) the bank’s insensitivity to customers in general, and to a young man going off to serve his country in particular, is now being read across the United States and even around the world. 

Of course, every customer deserves our best service every time.  That goes without saying.  I think there are three lessons to be learned here:

  1. Don’t advertise yourself as something you’re not.
  2. Be aware that through the Internet, every customer has a potential world-wide audience.
  3. Don’t EVER mess with a member of the US Armed Forces.  Customers will forgive a lot of things, but this one’s an unforgivable sin.

To quote Shel, "
The Stanley Cup Playoffs will be held in hell before anyone in our family has anything to do with WaMu again."

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