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Metro Bank – Tottenham Court Road London

Metro Bank opened the doors to it’s fifth store in Tottenham Court Road on the 18th March 2011. Modeled on the American Commerce Bank founded by Vernon Hill, Vernon has now moved this successful model to the UK.
The culture of the model is built around the customers, “who are at the heart of our business” to quote Dipak Varshani, store manager at the new store.

So far, all my personal experiences with Metro Bank have been excellent. Their approach is simply one of recruiting the right people, – people that smile and have a passion for customers, it seems as though their formula will continue to win happy customers and of course business.

What are your experiences with Metro Bank (or other banks)? EMAIL ARIZION to win a copy of Raving Fans by Ken Blanchard

While we are talking about banks, Chase Bank has taken technology to another level. They provide an APP that allows customers to bank cheques (do you remember what those are?!) using their phone without even visiting a branch. Have a look at the Chase APP at https://www.chase.com/online/services/mobile-banking.htm.

Make a difference today

Take a few minutes out of your schedule to listen to your paying customers and also your internal customers i.e. your team. They are very often the best source of new, exciting and innovative ideas.

And if you are a boss . . .

Remember people join organisations and leave because of their manager! Think now, about how much you know about your team members, what they are doing; how they are feeling; and do they have what they need to do their job well? Taking time to understand could be the best investment of time in your working week.

In Conversation with Geoff Langston

The next big thing in customer service?

Could it be “Brand Butlers”? More about this concept soon!

Over the last thirty plus years, there have been many trends in how we serve our customers; new approaches technological innovations, changes in terminology from customer service to customer experiences and so it goes on.

Some years ago, America was recognised as setting the standard for excellent service, more recently the Far East and Asia have been recognised for taking service to a new high with airlines such as Emirates and Singapore airlines delivering outstanding experiences for their customers. Having been fortunate enough to experience personally, both American and Asian levels of service during the last twelve months, I tend to agree with this view.

For example, I flew with Jet airlines, an Indian company and was treated to an exceptional journey from checking in to landing. The on-flight team was excellent. They were attentive, aware of customer needs, there was more space than I have ever seen in a standard class cabin, subtle lighting that changed colour according to the atmosphere they wanted to create (day to night/ meal times/ entertainment time etc) real cutlery and crockery and more, a lot of which was dependent on the staff! A fantastic experience with an airline I would definitely recommend and will be using again.

So, what exactly are Brand Butlers?

The trend following website www.trendwatching.com (One of the world’s leading trend firms, sends out its free, monthly Trend Briefings to more than 160,000 subscribers worldwide) first coined the phrase some time ago, and their most recent briefing provides an update on the latest developments in “brand butlering” across the world. They suggest that:

  • Simply offering excellent yet tried-and-tested customer service and support functions, or typical online features such as price-lookup or anything facilitating ecommerce activities. While excelling in offering these hygiene factors of course do contribute to an overall ‘feel’ of assistance for customers, we would qualify them as (after) sales support, not ‘butlering’.
  • BRAND BUTLER services typically do not replace top quality products and paid services: they go ‘over and above’. In most cases BRAND BUTLER services can/should only exist because they support your core (and hopefully outstanding) products and services.
  • Last but not least, as BRAND BUTLERS is all about relevance and service, this is not about gimmicks or entertainment for entertainment’s sake.

It will come as no surprise to many readers that Virgin Atlantic features on more than a couple of occasions in the “Brand Butler” briefing!

I suggest that you will find it useful and interesting to read the briefing, however, whatever new innovative approaches you offer to your customers, the real service providers are people. Even on-line service providers at some point have some human interactivity, particularly when something goes wrong with the product or service. People do business with people, and will go back to those people who provide excellent, consistent and reliable service.