How to Create Loyal Customers; An Example from the Least Likely Place… A BANK!

Lets face it, any customer service story evolving from a bank experience can’t be good.

But wait… not today!

I actually have a great customer service story, one that exemplifies the “SUCS” model of service (Superior Unexepected Customer Service) which I identify in my book, The Millionaire Fastlane.

So here it goes.

I’m in shock at the service I just received, and the total bombshell … from an unexpected place– a BIG BANK.

To be specific, Chase Bank.

So here’s the back story.

I pay cash for nothing.

Everything goes on my Chase bankcard.   This way, I accumulate points and get all kinds of free goodies.  Who likes FREE stuff?   Everyone!  Including me!

At the end of the month, I pay the balance in FULL.  I NEVER carry a balance to the next month.

So today I get my Chase bank statement in the mail and I notice an interest charge.  What?  I haven’t had an interest charge in years!  WTF is going on?!?

So immediately, I examine my statement trying to find the source of the charge, and why.


Utt oh. :(

My only option is to call the bank …. oh, the horror! Not on my weekend!

At this point, my stomach starts to growl at the specter of having to deal with “Press 1 for this”  “Press 2 for that” in order to speak with someone in Mumbai 3,500 miles away on the other side of the planet.

My mood changes.  Negative expectations begin to swell.

So I call the bank’s 800 number and get ready for customer “disservice”.

Within the 2nd ring, a real person answers …. YES, you read that right — A REAL LIVE FREAKING PERSON! No machine!  And without a deep Indian or Pakistani accent!

I think the rep picked up on my surprise as I paused and kinda made a noise of surprise. “Oh!?”

Anyhow, I told the rep the situation and within 30 seconds, she told me WHY the interest charge was there, clearly identifying that I WAS THE ONE THAT MADE THE ERROR.  (When I paid the last bill, I entered an 8, when it should have been a 9, hence resulting in balance that went slightly unpaid.)

Now since it was identified that the issue was MY FAULT, I wasn’t expecting any kind of interest credit — in fact, I wasn’t going to even ask for it.  I was just going to say thank you, and hang up, taking full responsibilty for my error.

Before I could say my pleasant goodbyes, the service rep volunteer to remove the charges.  I didn’t even have to ask!

After I picked up my mouth from the floor, I told her thank you, hung up, and wrote this post.

This folks is how you create loyal customers.  You VIOLATE their NEGATIVE EXPECTATIONS in the POSITIVE, so much to the point that they will

A) Continue to use you (creates $)

B) Blog about you (creates new $)


C) tell their friends about you. (creates new $)

I will do all three.

So I ask all you business owners out there:  Are you violating expectations in the positive?  Meeting them?  Or is your customer service really customer disservice?

I believe that Superior Unexpected Customer Service (SUCS) will outperform some slick Madison Avenue marketing campaign each and every time.

~ MJ



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  • Hoo Kang

    Good to see that the big banks are catching on.

    American Express has always had incredible customer service for me.

    Maybe I should move from W*F* to Chase…

    • AMEX has always been pretty good too although the thing with Chase that shocked me was immediately hearing someone on the phone, w/o PRESS 1 for this, PRESS 2 for that.

  • Susan

    What does their accent have anything to do with customer service?

    • Gee, I don’t know — if you can’t understand a word the rep is saying, do you think “customer service” can be given? It only adds stress to the situation. People call to have a problem resolved, not to give their brain a linguistic workout.

    • Bob

      Agree with Susan. It seems that the issue of the accent ticked the writer off more than the charge. And about MJ speaking about not understanding a word, I have dealt with customer reps from Africa (very sweet and polite people by the way) and never had a problem understanding them.

  • It’s very cool that you got your problem solved so smoothly and quickly.

    I learned an important lesson serving time on a call room floor as a customer service rep/salesman. Not all reps are created equal. Shocker, eh.

    It makes common sense when you hear it but until I saw first hand how petty and butt hurt some of these door knobs would get over waiving fees and handling small problems for customers, I would shake my head wondering why these reps would want create so much drama for themselves.

    But my real lesson came from Robert Ringer, the author of some of my favorite books on the planet like, “Looking Out For #1” and “Winning Through Intimidation” and “Action”. I can’t remember what book he talked about it in but he was speaking to the idea of not taking “No” for an answer – especially when it came to dealing with customer service agents.

    He talked about how if one person didn’t give him the answer he wanted, he’d politely thank them, hang up, and call right back and continue to do so until he got the answer he wanted. And surprise, surprise, he would eventually come upon someone like me who didn’t want to fight but rather aimed to please.

    I have used this approach when having to seek help from mega-corporation customer service agents since and been wowed and I swear by it.

    The key thing to making it work is to not be a dick on the phone. If the call goes “Normal”, the rep has no reason to note the account. But if you start yelling at them and calling them an idiot, they’ll D Up on you and start making notes on the account like, “THIS GUY IS A TOTAL DOUCHE CANOE. DO NOT WAIVE HIS FEES!!!!!”

    This of course taints the next person you talk to if you do hang up and try to call back or, it just gets this person talking all kinds of shit about you to the supervisor after you’ve asked to speak to the that person.

    And there’s one thing to remember and that’s that the supervisor was once in the rep’s seat so they commiserate with the rep and they’re probably friendly with the rep or at bare minimum don’t want to piss them off so that they can keep peace on the floor they have to spend 40 hours a week or more working on so they’re gonna side with them before they side with you . . . unless of course the rep is a total idiot and is in the wrong.

    All of that to say, not all customer service situations are created equal.

    So if you’re ever in a situation where you aren’t wowed immediately, you can give yourself better odds of getting your desired result if you don’t just settle for the first, “No” and you remain calm knowing you can call back (there’s at least 100 people manning the phones of any big corporation call floor so don’t worry about getting the same person again) and pose your reasonable request like having a fee removed to a different person with a different personality in a different state of mind and you’ll have a great shot at having your needs met.

    • Michael Vale


  • Lucy

    I banked (debit and credit) at Chase as well and had the same issue! And they gladly took care of it without having to ask. It pays to have a good history and yes, communication is they key! Glad yours got settled in pretty quickly!

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  • Michael Vale

    Haha chase bank

  • shane

    ive been a chase customer for about 3 months and i love them haha

  • Leilani

    I’m impressed! I’ve been a Chase customer through osmosis ever since they bought over my old bank. I was never truly aroused by their customer service…with numerous attempts to up sell me to Chase Private Client, phony greeters at the front pretending to truly know who I am and continual time spent with the PB’s checking to see if my contact information “is up to date”. It’s GREAT to hear that their phone customer service is an A+. Now if only they can work on bettering experiences within their branches…

  • John Statler

    You are a drama queen. Calm down.

  • Nicole

    Hi! I have a question regarding general customer service. How do you prevent people from taking advantage of you? For example, if some people got wind of this bank doing this, they might purposely underpay and then try to negotiate having it settled. Thanks.

    • Mike M.

      Why are you so negative? Sure there are cheap people in every industry and if the possibility of someone taking advantage of you in business is a problem, perhaps this isn’t the place for you.

  • dont sent spam for customers :D

  • am really impressed..learnt a lot from this article.

  • Tom LAMENA

    Hi MJ,
    I have been a financial advisor for a couple of years. I read your book. It dawned on me i would be more happy creating/dealing with system than humans. I dug into the challenge. I found my IKIGAI. As a trainee TRADER, i have a blast today. I’m IN for the long run. Trader lifestyle is the holygrail. No disgruntled client anymore.

  • No doubt, Chase has some serious customer service chops.