Peter Glen starts his latest book, "It's Not My Department" by telling the following story about service:
"Why is it so important to treat every customer like a millionaire? One reason is that you never know which customers might really be millionaires."
"Customer John Barrier taught managers at U.S. Bank of Washington in Spokane a lesson in customer service they'll never forget. It all started when he went in to cash a $25 check. In his Acme Concrete Company baseball cap and dungarees, Barrier looked like an ordinary customer."
"Afterward he tried to drive his pickup out of the parking lot, but the kid in the booth told Barrier to cough up 60 cents or else go back inside and get his parking ticket stamped to verify that he was a bank customer."
"Annoyed, Barrier re-parked his pickup, went back into the bank and presented his ticket to a teller -- who refused to validate it. Perhaps she didn't believe Barrier had really made a transaction at the bank. Maybe she thought he'd just walked in off the street".
"I'm about to make another transaction in your bank," Barrier said. "Give me the $1 million I keep here. I'm taking it next door." U.S. Bank decided to validate his parking ticket after all, but it was too late. The multimillionaire real estate developer got a new bank, and U.S. Bank was out $1,000,000.60.
"America, we are told, has a "service economy." But all too often we neither give good service nor get it. Instead we whine. We pass the buck. We fall down on the job. Our whining anthem is, "It's Not My Department."