Earl's Pearls

Thought leadership and pearls of wisdom

pearls with angle

Customer Interactions a Matter of Deposits and Withdrawals

Remember “back in the day” when we used check book registers to write in the deposits and withdrawals made to our bank accounts?  Today, we still note those transactions, though they are recorded electronically rather than in written form.

Try thinking of your customer relationships like a bank account.  Let’s call them C1X Accounts.  Every interaction you have with a customer results in either a deposit or a withdrawal. Each customer engagement either builds or depletes your relationship with that customer.

The amount of satisfaction or dissatisfaction that exists in our customer relationships can be described using this metaphor.  This same concept works for every company touchpoint, any department in your organization that is part of that customer’s journey with your company.  For everyone, every time!

What we’ve been describing in terms of deposits and withdrawals are all behaviors. Actions that have either added to or depleted our C1X Accounts with another person.  This directly impacts the degree of confidence your customer has in YOU, and their perception of your company in its entirety.

I searched high and low unsuccessfully last weekend for a restaurant in Highlands, NC, that offered a traditional Sunday breakfast menu after my noon arrival time.  Though disappointed, I settled-in at the third venue for a regular lunch. In addition to the normal fare, the waiter offered a lunch special of biscuits, honey, and chicken fingers. Inspired by the classic Jack Nicholson scene in Five Easy Pieces, I ordered the special but asked that he substitute the chicken for a couple of eggs.  The waiter smiled encouragingly and said he would check with the kitchen.  He was gone long enough for me to wonder whether this was going to be a deposit or withdrawal in the restaurant’s relationship with me. And if he said yes, how I would share that this seemingly simple request earned a deposit, a larger tip than usual, and a certain return visit.

“No,” he said.

He was genuinely apologetic and disappointed he couldn’t make my request happen.  He was obviously not empowered to make my simple request an easy yes.  Maybe management was more concerned with scrambling the menu or business model.

While this was a mere $15 lunch, many companies make the same mistake, costing them millions of dollars in revenue.  Think about your last dozen customer interactions and consider which ones were deposits or withdrawals.  You may be surprised.

The companies that put their customer’s needs first always make more deposits, and their competitors are left with egg on their faces.

Subscribe to receive Earl's pearls of wisdom in your inbox.

Please enter your name.
Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.