Teller, Banker, What’s the difference? They both don’t care about customers!

I had a simple request at a bank that I go to infrequently.  They have never been friendly nor have they really cared about my business. So, I moved most of my accounts out to their competition.  Today, I went in and noticed a hand written name tag on the teller.  I wanted to make a simple change to my account.  She took my ATM card and driver’s license, did a bunch of pounding on the keyboard, then handed my cards to a guy at a terminal next to her.  She said ‘He will help you.’   I am confused.  I then, started the process over again with the new guy with yet another hand written name tag.  Who was this guy?  Was he new?  Was he an intern?  Why didn’t the first woman finish my transaction before helping the next customer?  Color me confused.  New guy banged on the keyboard for a very long time when Frenchie asked “Are you having trouble finding our account?” To which he replied, “It’s not letting me do what I want.  I have to call a manager.”  Okay, I guessed right.  New intern guy.  Then, eventually we were escorted to an area and asked to sit down while new guy intern pounded on a new keyboard.  Eventually, I asked “So, who are you?   And, why weren’t we taken care of by the first woman?”  The explanation was swift. “Oh, she’s a teller.  I’m a banker.”  Banker!  I guess he wasn’t new intern guy.  But, then again, what’s the difference between a teller and a banker?  Neither one really greeted us or seemed to care about what we were trying to do.

Wow.  After 20 minutes we decided the simple act at this branch wasn’t as simple as we thought.  And, since we still weren’t given any love here, we’re going to simply take all our accounts to their competition and close this one. As we walked out, I thought of so many other ways they could have handled this!

First woman: “Hi.  Welcome to Wells Fargo.  How can I help you?”

After hearing our request, she could have said: “Sounds great!  Let me get Arie, he is our banker and handles all the maintenance of our customer’s accounts.  Do you mind stepping over here?”

Arie could have said, “Hi I’m Arie.  I handle all the requests like this.  I’ll be glad to get this handled for you!”

First woman and Arie – “By the way, we call this ‘hand-written name tag Friday!  Ya want one?”

Alas, none of the above happened, no real eye contact, no explanation or introductions, just apathy.   Am I expecting too much from my banker or teller?  Am I just oversensitive to customer service because I am a motivational speaker who makes a living helping people improve their performance to improve company results? Would love to hear what you think.

From your always error on the side of too much care motivational speaker, Marilyn Sherman


Marilyn Sherman, CSP is a Front-Row Leadership Expert helping people get out of the balcony and get a front-row seat in life. For over 20 years she has inspired audiences with topics on Visioning, Goal Achievement and having a No More Excuses attitude! Check out her fun, dynamic style at

Marilyn Sherman, Owner UpFront Presentations - Helping people get a Front-Row seat in their life!
9030 W. Sahara Ave #444
Las Vegas, NV 89117

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  1. Ah Marilyn, love your blog… especially as I just left my bank where… though I think their processes absolutely stink and at a corporate level I really don’t think they care about their customers… at a branch level, their customer service is exceptional. Both branches I visit on a regular basis are staffed by real live human beings who look me in the eye, seemingly care about what I’m up to… and when they can, do what they can to take care of me and my concerns (even when their hands are bound by corporate policies and practices that seemingly embarrass them)… and from what I can see, they treat their other customers the same way too. With customer service like that I stick around… even though doing so is fiscally irresponsible on my behalf.

    So nope… my votes are that I don’t think you’re being oversensitive to customer service… nor do I think you’re expecting too much from your banker or your teller. 

  2. Marilyn, great post. Reminds all of us of the power of simply communicating effectively and with service at heart. You need to get in that bank and speak your magic!

  3. Hey Marilyn, I like YOUR version of how the scene should have played out SO much better than how it actually did!  Dang, those banker/teller people should be reading your blog!!!!!  

  4. No you’re not expecting too much!!!  I’d go back and write a “suggestion” on your withdrawal slip!:)

  5. Marilyn, awesome post – and unfortunately the ones who should see it, won’t. Consumers are screaming and aren’t being heard. It’s still the same tried and true methods of serving customers – look, listen, smile, act like you care I’m here. So simple, and yet so rarely used. Such a shame. In this economy vendors can’t afford to lose business. Thanks for sharing!

    (PS I’ll never forget the day the staff of my local bank showed up at one of my storytelling shows. It was a moment I’ll never forget – and the reason I have remained loyal to them to this day.)

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