Thursday, October 2, 2014

A Poor Attitude Can Cost You

The president of the Bank of America told the following story, which took place some years ago.

The Los Angeles branch of Bank of America is housed in a multilevel building with a parking structure on its lower floors. This large skyscraper housed many businesses. For many years, customers using the bank would not be charged for parking if they simply presented a ticket to the teller for the validation with any transaction.

Over the years, however, people began abusing this privilege by making a small or insignificant transactions at the bank and then spending the rest of the day shopping at other businesses in the building. Due to the frequent infractions by shrewd customers, the bank reluctantly discontinued the privilege of validating tickets for free and unlimited parking.  Validated tickets would henceforth be charged at a discounted hourly rate.

One morning, an elderly man dressed in jeans and a flannel shirt waited his turn in a long line of customers. The line slowly inched its way forward, until he made his way to the next open teller's booth. The man made a small deposit and presented his parking ticket for validation. The teller stamped his ticket and informed him that he would have to pay a small amount for the parking.

"Why? You've never required this before," the elderly replied.

The teller, faced with a crowded bank full of impatient customers, snapped, "Well that's the new rule. I don't make 'em. I just dish 'em out."

"But I've been a customer in this bank for many years," the man persisted. "The least you can do is validate it like you used to."

"You heard me, Mister. You got a problem with that, see the manager. I have a lot of people waiting behind you. If you could move along, that would make this morning go by a little easier."

The flannel-shirted gentleman made his way to the end of the long line of waiting customers, and once again he inched his way back toward the tellers' booths. When he finally arrived, he approached the first available teller, withdrew $4.2 million and went across the street and deposited it in another bank.

That teller's attitude cost the bank $4.2 million! Never underestimate the destruction that can be wrought by a poor attitude. 

A sign hanging on the wall of an old gas station holds for us a poignant truth. It reads:

Why Customers Quit

1% die.
3% move.
5% leave because of location.
7% quit because of product dissatisfaction.
84% of customers quit because of an attitude of indifference shown to them by one of the employees

(From Wayne Cordeiro's "Attitudes that Attract Success")

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