Running errands Saturday morning, I saw this scene unfolding in a bank parking lot. Morbid curiosity got the best of me and we pulled in to get a closer look.
Customer Appreciation Day
There was no signage explaining what was going on (or inviting people to participate). So, I had to get out of the car and ask the lone employee manning the folding table what was going on.
“It’s customer appreciation day, would you please sign in?” he told me with well scripted enthusiasm. Sign in? To be appreciated?
I don’t think so. There was one kid jumping incessantly, a guy waiting to do chair massages, and a pop-up tent way on the other side of the parking lot with cold drinks, popcorn and lots of brochures about bank services–more chances to be appreciated, no doubt.
Appreciating customers is wise business practice. Doing it in a hot parking lot, disconnected from your branding message is beyond lame. It is, as my kids say, FAIL.
Appreciation is a practice, not an event
Customer appreciation isn’t something you do, it’s the way you are. How quickly do you respond? Do you get it right the first time? Are customer expectations exceeded, or merely satisfied?
This is a pass-fail test and your customer grades your work. Having to tell customers you appreciate them probably means you don’t understand what appreciation looks like to them. Tune into the customer’s felt need. Go beyond satisfaction regularly. Being thankful is so much better than just saying it.
A moonwalk in a bank parking lot doesn’t enrich my experience of the bank; there’s no benefit. They might as well have rented an inflatable pink gorilla instead and put it on the roof with a sign reading, “we want you to think we appreciate you.”
Everyday is customer appreciation day. Lose a few and you’ll find them even easier to appreciate.By the way: I blotted out the bank’s name and faces of those involved in the promotion. I’m sure they’ll appreciate that.