September 12, 2011

Is it possible to be all things to all people?

Train employees to relate easily to all generations

Generally no. But exceptional customer service can get you pretty close.

Baby boomers have the cash and need wealth management advice; families need homes or car loans and college tuition money; Gen X and the Millennials want…well, who really knows, but they own the future. You want them all, right?

If your teller lines at your branches are made up of mostly Caucasian women over 40, you are going to have a hard time winning the affection of a 23-year-old with buds in his ears who stops texting just long enough to fish his un-endorsed check and scribbled deposit slip out of his jeans. The point? Either train your customer-facing people to be able to interact comfortably with the aforementioned dude, or make sure you have someone on the teller line or at a desk who looks like he or she might even listen to the same music. Ditto for the folks who come in that grew up with Glen Miller or us boomers who spent awkward moments with our teeth in braces, twisting to Chubby Checker.

Tall order? Yeah, and it gets taller:  Regardless of how many PLUs (people like us) your patrons find as they look around the branch at your employees, make sure all of them have the training to be able to relate easily to all the generations that come through your door, no matter what music they listen to.