Monday, September 7, 2009

Nothing to Lose

I am on the lookout for small or large acts of service, done on a volunteer basis; informal, grass roots, or fully organized. One such deed affecting me personally these days, however, might not be voluntary but rather part of the job at the bank where I recently opened a new account. I am not one to endorse a business or product on my blog about community service; however, it became apparent to me that "California's brand new 200-year-old bank" no longer cared about me when they refused my $100 deposit last month. The teller said he could not locate my checking account in the system since it was opened in another state five years ago. I have been in California four years now, and nobody at Wamu/Chase had ever mentioned that before.

The dismissive air of the young male teller was enough to ruin my afternoon. After several similar run-ins before and watching three other irate customers also being offended
as no-names, I finally made the jump and walked into Wells Fargo. I knew they would at least say hello and take my money, since my son's account is there and I had dealt with them as I helped him through college. Apparently, Wells Fargo management has realized the value of great customer service. Every time I enter one of the branches near my home, I am nearly accosted by "Hello's." If I am standing in line for more than a minute or two, they remind me,"we'll be right with you."

After having been treated rudely for no reason at Wamu/Chase, and repeatedly trying not to let it get me down, I took a vote for myself and decided banking could be a warm fuzzy in my hectic and harried life. I have no idea what the salary structures are at either bank; something tells me there isn't much difference. I do know that the smiles and "hello's" coming from the Wells Fargo employees are brightening an otherwise tedious experience for most of us. Friendliness is contagious, even viral at this community-oriented bank.

Service with a smile is promoted from the top. The philosophy of the Chairman and CEO,
Richard M. Kovacevich, reflects an attitude of giving, and it starts with the tellers sharing a little of themselves. The website observes, "Wells Fargo has long understood that we can be no stronger, nor more successful, than the neighborhoods and communities where we do business." There is a strong focus on corporate citizenship and social responsibility, with effective customer service taking the lead to promote good will in the community. And smart business leaders know that by starting with kindness on the front line, they have nothing to lose but everything to gain.

To read more about Wells Fargo's good works in the community:

To learn more about corporate social responsibility, check out the statistics below listed on

"American Corporations Highest in Giving by Percentage of
Operating Income
(Click on each link to find out which community organizations get financial help
from the company)

  1. Kroger
  2. Tyson Foods
  3. Bristol-Myers Squibb
  4. Best Buy
  5. Eli Lilly
  6. Wal-Mart Stores
  7. Fluor Corporation
  8. Xerox
  9. Caterpillar
  10. Northrop-Grumman

No comments: