Passing Judgment On Your Customers?


I just came across this article in the New York Times and literally could not believe it. In the article, Complaint Box – Hard Sell the author tells the story of the personal judgment that was made about her desire NOT to open a separate bank account in her name only upon her marriage.  The first bank agent presented the option to her as a financial option.  When the author returned to have her husband added to the account, the second agent imposed her personal beliefs on her and related her own daughter’s story.  While well intended, from a customer service standpoint this was inappropriate enough, as the customer had already stated her wishes.

It gets better – the bank agent sat back and asked the customer “What would your mother think?”  I couldn’t believe that this had actually been said out loud!  As professionals in any business, we are not in the position to pass judgment or impose our values or beliefs on them.  We can present available options and discuss any questions they may have, but it absolutely must stop there.

I commented on that article and suggested that the author bring the situation to the branch manager.  If that response was anything short of truly apologetic, then I would seriously consider closing those accounts and finding another bank.

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