A woman needs $800 for a used car so she can get a new job across town…


A woman needs $800 for a used car so she can get a new job across town…

A man, laid off from his job, needs 30-60 days of understanding while he gets back on his feet…

A high school student lays the foundation of health financial fitness when she learns to set a budget and balance a checkbook…

A young man loses his wallet on Friday night and needs someone to tell him how to safeguard his missing debit and credit card…

A single mom walks in your branch 2 minutes before closing on Friday, racing straight from work so she can deposit her check and pay her utility bills that will keep the water on that weekend…



I recently wrapped up traveling to Florida, Alabama, California and Texas, speaking to credit unions about impacting the member experience and improving service. And I heard many of these stories while on the road.

Every single day, the seemingly mundane transactions in our branches, change lives. The unfortunate truth, however, is that our staff often forget. 

We don’t know what brings each person into your branch, but I can guarantee you one thing … It has to do with money. And what is more important and emotional than that?!?!

It’s vital that every single person in your organization be reminded, regularly, how important our job in financial services is. This is not a “pick up your pay check at the end of the week” job.

Whether it’s the teller line, new accounts, lending, call center, branch managers, card services … whatever. You can not be in this career and touch people’s financial lives without having an impact.

My challenge to you this week is to focus on reminding your team how essential they are to the lives of every single person who walks in your front door.

Sure, 90% of the time, we are a commodity. Folks want to get in and out quickly and, “don’t screw up my balance.” We are a check mark on a to-do list somewhere between, “stop by the post office,” and, “pick up the kids from school.”

But it’s that 10%. Oh, that magic moment … when they REALLY need us. When someone needs us, we are financial first responders!

The trick is, none of us know who is experiencing that 10% and when. So we need to treat everyone as if we they are walking in the door on fire and not get lulled into the transaction-focused mentality.

What will you do to remind your staff how important each interaction is?





  • Begin each department or branch meeting with 5-10 minutes of customer “life changing” sharing
  • Create a process of sharing “life changing” stories on an intratnet page or email list serve for the entire staff to see
  • Recognize and reward the “life changing moment” of the week
  • Share this blog with them!




This is not a one-time exercise. Your CEO can not passively mention it in an all-staff email. This is a focused, on-going effort that can lead to more satisfied employees, more fulfilled customers, higher returns and an entirely new corporate culture.

If this makes sense to you … please share this blog with your industry colleagues.

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