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Blog: Bank Marketing Insights

The surprisingly effective response to a customer complaint

I recently had trouble with a community bank’s technology and emailed a banker there to complain in what I hope was a polite—but very frustrated—manner. The response was swift and unexpected.

She thanked me.

the first part of the surprise

Of course, she called to apologize. That’s expected.

But she also thanked me, saying she appreciated my bringing this issue to her attention so she could look into it and get it resolved. Her approach was brilliant because she made me feel like I was helping her.

the second part

A few days later, I received a $50 gift certificate and a thank you note in the mail from this banker. She took the time to write a note. She went further by including a gift.

She went far above and beyond the call of duty, and it WOW’d me.

be like her

This is one smart banker. She didn’t just work on solving the problem, she did much more.

Thanking a complainer is an unusual—and effective—tactic for two reasons:

  1. While I may be the only one who complained, there are likely to be others who have had the same experience and are just as frustrated.
  2. I’m telling all my friends about the sensational customer service I just received at this bank. That's powerful ROI for the promotional dollar.

see the opportunity

A report published in 2015 by CNBC said only 23% of customers are happy with their bank. This means there’s plenty of opportunity for you to grow market share. It also means many of your customers may be dissatisfied and thinking about switching financial institutions. So start listening and thanking right now.

You're welcome.


For help making sure your current customers are happy and fully banked, call Martha Bartlett Piland direct at 785.969.6203.

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