How Will Bank of America Punish Customers (Next)?

The news media is awash with stories about Bank of America’s new policy of charging their most loyal customers for debit card purchases.  Many (and I mean MANY) people are angry over this and fear their bank will follow suit.

*As a result BOA decided to rescind the policy, but is considering others that continue to penalize people for doing business with them.  It will still make people angry.

Banks (big ones in particular) have learned that the best way to keep people from complaining about their fees and policies is to load on higher fees and more self-protective policies.  As a bank officer told me last year on a “customer service” call, “We are a big successful bank and don’t need input from customers on how to be successful.”

However a recent survey just showed that the major beneficiary of the new bank fees and policies are…  credit unions who don’t punish members for doing business with them.

Bank of America also just laid off thousands of workers and announced branch closings all over the country.  Guess that is what you do when people are voting you out of business by taking theirs elsewhere.

Before you do anything else today, ask yourself, “How do my customers feel punished by the policies we have in force?”  “Are our policies in place for only OUR advantage, or our customers’ advantage?”

The complaints you get from your customers should tell you the answer to those questions.

You don’t solve the problems of less business by charging or punishing people more in a recession (or anytime).  Instead, give more VALUE that people will pay more for.

Here’s a hint:  If your customer service representatives and managers are constantly having to say, “This is for your security…” to frustrated customers, it’s a policy; not a perk.  And it’s more about YOUR security, not theirs.  They are complaining because they don’t feel more secure with your policy.

Find a way to turn your policies into perks.

Jim Mathis is an international speaker and best selling author of the book, Reinvention Made Easy: Change Your Strategy, Change Your Results.  You may subscribe to his free monthly e-zine by sending a SUBSCRIBE message to subscribe@jimmathis.com.

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