Dear Wells Fargo


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Greetings. “Happy” is a very nice word and in recent years it has become a very popular idea in the world of business as companies work to make their customers and employees happy. In fact, there are even books, articles, blogs and seminars dedicated to the simple proposition that happy employees make happy customers. And we all know that having happy customers makes it a lot easier for employees to be happy. You might say that these two groups have a “symbiotic” relationship.

So you can imagine my delight (or happiness) when I called Wells Fargo and was told by the customer service representative that she was “happy to help.” Happy to help me complete a form that would enable our newest customer to directly deposit payments into our corporate account. The only problem was the fact that she was unable to do it. And so were the next three people I was handed off to during my thirty-five minute call. Though each one began and ended our conversations by saying:

“I’m happy to help you!”

Sounds like this part of their training really worked. They had taught them to be happy to help (or at least ‘say’ that they were happy to help) but not how to be helpful. And I suddenly realized that I would rather have someone help me than be happy to help me. Of course, I’d love both. But given the choice, and a limited amount of time to spend on matters like this, I guess that I’d rather accomplish my objectives with the help of someone who isn’t even that happy to help me.


And to make matters worse, I had an even bigger issue with Wells Fargo. Because for some reason unknown to me I have been living without a banking relationship manager since mine decided to leave the bank. Without telling me, or presumably her colleagues, that they might want to connect with a loyal customer. I can only imagine that I fell through the cracks while they were all attending a workshop on the importance of being happy to help. And when I made my status as a customer who was lost in the Wells Fargo wilderness clear to the representative on the other end of the phone she didn’t even offer to remedy my situation. Instead, she decided to offer me a business platinum credit card–a card I absolutely didn’t need but one that she would be happy to help me obtain. “No thank you,” I replied in response to her insistence. “I’m happy to not have a business platinum credit card. In fact, I’d be kind of uncomfortable having one given that I don’t even qualify to have a banking relationship manager.”


We win in business and in life when we actually help those we have the privilege to serve. And when our happiness is the icing on the cake.

Cheers and have a happy Presidents’ Day Weekend!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Alan Gregerman
Alan Gregerman is an award-winning author, consultant and keynote speaker who has been called "one of the most original thinkers in business today" and "the Robin Williams of business consulting." His work focuses on helping companies and organizations to unlock the genius in all of their people in order to deliver the most compelling value to their customers.


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