Easy Does It — Wells Fargo Banker’s Personal Touch Creates a Delightful Experience


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I recently took my mother to a Wells Fargo branch office to take a care of 3 different transactions: getting a credit card reactivated, depositing coins and ordering checks.

The coins required a visit, but the other two transactions could have been done by phone or maybe online. I hoped one visit to a local branch would be easier, but deep down I feared it wouldn’t.

Frankly, I expected we’d be shuttled around the branch to different people to take care of each transaction. Or, worse, told to use the phone to call the credit card support number directly. (That’s happened to me before at a Wells Fargo branch.)

Instead, it turned into a quick and—dare I say it—delightful experience. Because when we entered the branch, a banker warmly greeted us and asked how he could help. After learning what my mother wanted to do, he invited us to sit down at his desk, and then took care of everything.

  • Called the credit card division of Wells Fargo to activate a credit card, then set up automatic online payment.
  • Took the coins to the teller to make the deposit, and returned with a receipt.
  • Ordered new checks.

Before inviting us to sit down, the banker didn’t know us or much money we had at Wells Fargo. So far as I know, he didn’t check my Klout score to see if I was influential.

Right about now, Social CRMers are screaming that all that personal (read: expensive) effort could have been misplaced, because the banker didn’t know our Life Time Value or whether we’d post something on Twitter or Facebook afterwards. (I’m sure they’ll be some nifty technology coming out soon to correct that problem, perhaps integrated with those new Google glasses.)

The CEM crowd is probably upset, too. Because after we were done, he didn’t give us a satisfaction survey or ask if we would recommend Wells Fargo to our friends and family. Instead, he said we were welcome to have a cookie before leaving, and so we did!

The personal touch by this banker is what made our visit both efficient and delightful. Think about what your frontline people are doing when approached by customers. Are they just traffic cops for your service channels—the human equivalent of an IVR? Or will they take ownership and add value personally?


  1. Hello Bob
    I read your post with avid interest. Why? You have disclosed the essence of great experience. I don’t have to tell you, you experienced it and as you say it was all to do with the personal touch. Yet, I ask you this: why did you notice that personal touch, hy did it touch your heart?

    In a nutshell, our institutions including businesses are inhuman, impersonal, self-centred at best, often indifferent. Look deeply at all the customer oriented literature and taken for granted best practice and you will find a mercenary, transactional orientation at the heart of it. Yet, it is disguised as a savvy relationship orientation. Even a customer-centric orientation: If you are a high spender then we will treat you well. And the day you stop being a high spender we will ignore you. To a customer this does not show caring, it shows up as something I am entitled to because I spend o much with you. And entitlement does not build loyalty.

    Ultimately, we are social and yearn for and cling to those who value us, as human beings of worth, and make us feel valued. This is something that only the mavericks get ne act on. It is the essence of service: the personal touch that enriches the quality of th experience of being alive.


  2. I noticed and was delighted by this personal touch because it was unexpected. Sad to say, it’s all too rare.

    At Wells Fargo, they (apparently) send their staff to training to give a cheery greeting when someone enters the branch office and then ask “How are you?” But in most cases it seems forced, not a genuine caring.

    In this case, the banker was friendly but not overly effusive and didn’t make a bunch of happy talk. Instead, he just seemed to want to help. Very refreshing.

    I think you said it best: we want to feel valued. And when we’re treated as valued even when the business doesn’t know our worth, it feels authentic.

    The solution: hire more people like the banker who helped my mother!

  3. Hi Bob, Alex Ball with Wells Fargo here. Saw your post and just wanted to say "thanks” for taking the time to share the good experience you had in one of our stores with your readers!

  4. Hi Bob, Thanks for this excellent article.

    I had one such similar experience. An Old Couple were boarding a train between Chennai to Bangalore (in India). The train was about to start and they had luggage which were of more weight. Everybody in the train were watching them struggle to bring the luggage inside. When i was about to rush for helping them, I saw a small boy (probably 5 year old) running towards the door to bring the luggage in. Then the people around understood their responsibility and helped the Old couple to board the train. What I then felt was caring for people with no strings attached which gives this excellent Customer Delight. Probably the experience you had narrated above strengthens my feeling.


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