On the way home this evening, I stopped at my local pizza parlor and local bank branch. Just for fun, I pitted the attributes of the two service experiences against one another.
Guess who won?
The pizza parlor is open when I want pizza. The bank is open when I’m at work, and mostly closed I have time to go to a bank.
When I’m ordering take-out or delivery, the pizza place answers the phone, even if they have to put me on hold. The bank periodically routes calls to a “hang-up-on-me” option I’ve never selected.
In the pizza parlor, I wait amongst the aroma of baking pies. Other customers are happy to be there. At the bank I wait, either in person while listening to other customers mostly complain about heir bank service, or on the phone with an IVR response that begins, “due to unusual call volumes…” (BTW, is it unusual if it happens constantly?)
Pizza parlor has a signature dish. They make an Italian pie with a spicy jardiniere. The place down the street’s signature dish is a cheeseburger pizza, complete with onions, pickles & mustard. The point is that they intentionally differentiate along at least one line. Every bank seems to “me-too” their offerings, to the point where I wonder whether it matters where I keep my money? (Should banks be worried that we see them as as undifferentiated as “The Detroit 3”?)
I bet your bank has a www.banknameheresucks.com website devoted to disgruntled customers’ commentary. And I bet your local pizza parlor doesn’t.
The pizza place is willing to bring their offering to me, and even guarantees that they won’t waste my time. The bank?
Service recovery at the pizza place usually means a free meal. At the bank, it might not even mean an apology.
The service employees at the pizzeria are not as highly compensated as their bank counterparts, but are almost universally more service oriented.
I’m not saying that every bank should recraft their service to act like a pizza parlor. I know that what you expect from a bank is orders of magnitude more than what you expect from a pizza place.
But I do think that your average bank could learn a thing or two from how the local pizzeria approaches service. Extending outward, what would Southwest look like if they were a bank instead of an airline?
When a pizza place doesn’t deliver on their promise, we’re merciless consumers. We drive places out of business almost overnight. Yet somehow, when a bank doesn’t deliver on a promise much more important, most of us let it slide. If ever there was an industry that was ripe for a new service model to take it by storm, retail banking is it.
Learning by analogy
9 hours ago