Exceeding Expectations – Do you have a 10 minute rule?


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The Power of an Unwritten Rule

I’m currently reading a case study by Frances Frei as I prepare to attend “Achieving Breakthrough Service” at HBS. One point in the case jumped off the page. Commerce Bank (now TD Bank) was notorious for an interesting practice. Open 7 days a week (PG #716), they boasted the longest hours in retail banking. Some locations even had drive thru open until midnight. Yet, one unwritten rule of marketing lagniappe drove home their positioning as “America’s Most Convenient Bank.”

The 10 minute rule lands Commerce into the Purple Goldfish Project at #1008:

commerce bank purple goldfish

Here is a great quote about the policy from Chuck Salter at Fast Company:

At Commerce, the branches officially close on the hour, but the managers will open the door for customers who arrive within the next ten minutes. They don’t advertise this, so customers are bowled over when someone lets them in after hours. They feel as though the bank is making an exception for them. It’s a classic wow moment that fosters loyalty if not outright evangelism. Why ten minutes? The bank figures that’s a reasonable amount of leeway.

Marketing Lagniappe Takeaway: Leverage the power of the unexpected by doing a little extra . . . with your signature extra.

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure) – Here is a short film from 2002 called 10 minutes by Ahmed Imamovic that won BEST SHORT FILM IN EUROPE. An interesting look at 600 seconds through the eyes of a tourist in Rome and a small boy in war-torn Sarajevo. Warning – the film is not for the faint of heart:

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Stan Phelps
Stan Phelps is the Chief Measurement Officer at 9 INCH marketing. 9 INCH helps organizations develop custom solutions around both customer and employee experience. Stan believes the 'longest and hardest nine inches' in marketing is the distance between the brain and the heart of your customer. He is the author of Purple Goldfish, Green Goldfish and Golden Goldfish.


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