I recently had some dealings with one of the biggest banks in the world, Bank of America.
Now, this is not a business start-up, or a bootstrap entrepreneurial enterprise. So, you might expect that Bank of America is really way beyond caring about their customers problems, much less going out of their way to help solve them.
This Was My Problem
I’m not a special customer of Bank Of America. I have a regular account with them, no big deal.
I recently got written notice from them that they were closing my branch, and all the accounts were being transferred to another bank.
I called the branch manager and explained that this was really an inconvenience. I had just opened my account a few weeks earlier and had already spent a lot of time setting up my online bill paying account.
Furthermore, I was primarily interested in some very particular e-banking functions that I could only find at their bank, and that was the main reason I switched my account to them in the first place.
The Bank of America Solution
I honestly had little expectation that my little problem was going to weigh to heavily on the heart of the manager.
Nonetheless, he immediately offered a solution to my problem.
He helped me switch my account to another Bank Of America branch that could service me with the particular account options that I required.
I was impressed. This guy really seemed to care about my small dilemma, and he had an immediate solution.
But that wasn’t the end, of course.
Now, I had to formally switch my account from one branch to another. What kind of hoops would I have to jump to get that done?
To my surprise, I didn’t have to do anything!
The manager simply told me he had taken down the information from the phone call, would put it all into a letter that would be sent to me, and all I had to do was approve it.
That was it.
No Dead Ends, No Detours.
Problem solved, matter closed… one simple little phone call, and I was only put on hold for about 30 seconds.
A Fine Line Between Customer Service & Solutions Marketing
So, I suppose this story tells you something about the high level of customer service that Bank of America has.
But it tells more.
It tells the story of a very fine-tuned business model that considers a customer’s problem as an opportunity to score big points by presenting a suitable solution.
You see, I don’t think Bank of America just has a great customer service platform. I believe that they understand that by solving my little problem, they have positioned themselves to reap huge marketing benefits.
Not only am I a happy customer, but I will certainly spread the good word about a bank that seems to really care about my problems.
What better marketing strategy could there be, than to solve the problems of existing customer?
It’s far more cost effective than throwing tons of money at ad campaigns just to try to get new customers, especially if you were likely to lose the confidence of those customers with slip-shod customer service.
This is, it seems to me, the very essence of “solutions marketing.”
Solutions Marketing and Promotion
So, how about it, internet marketers and network marketers, bloggers and the all the online entrepreneurs out there?
Is your money well spent on costly advertising campaigns and elaborate SEO strategies?
Promotions are great. But even the best advertising campaigns and traffic driving methods in the world will capture just a tiny percent of the people exposed to them.
How much effort do you put into driving traffic to your blog or Facebook page? How much money do you spend promoting your product, your business or your service?
Don’t you think it makes good marketing sense to put at least as much effort into solving the problems of the readers, subscribers and customers you already have?
In fact, solving the problems of folks who have already given you their trust is far more effective and economical than always trying to find new ones.
Remember, your best customer is the one you already have, not the one you’re trying to capture.
So, treat them like the gold that they are, not as a nuisance.
I’m happy to say, Bank of America is one brick and mortar business that I think “gets it”, when it comes to solutions marketing.
How about your business?
Does it put more emphasis on getting new customers and subscribers, or keeping the ones you already have?
What steps do you take, or might you be able to take, to offer solutions to their problems?
I’d be happy to hear your ideas and experiences in the comments section below.
And please share this article with the folks on your social sites.