I’m wrapping up one of the larger cosmetic home improvement projects since moving into our new home last fall. The completion of this project marks the finish line of putting a fresh coat of paint on all of the walls in our home, and also making it feel a lot more like “ours.” Because I’m also very particular about finishes in our house, I have been replacing all of the light switches and outlet receptacles with updated white units and face plates, from the ivory color that adorned our house walls for almost 30 years.

After putting four gallons’ worth of paint on the walls of our entry way, dining room, living room and hallway (yes, lots of wall space), I counted up the number of outlets, single pole switches, 3-way switches, phone box cover plates (because who needs a land line these days?), and corresponding wall plates.

After doing some quick research online, I noted that everything I needed was in stock at my preferred local home improvement store.

Imagine my surprise, when, after a long, hard day at work, I drive to the store to discover the shelves completely barren of anything I had previously researched and needed. Nothing! Nada! Instead, a sign proclaiming the store was undergoing a “merchandising refresh” and inventory would be back soon.

Frustrated, I dropped everything – even the other purchases I was planning to make that evening – and left to go to a competing (and, personally, less desirable) store to make the same purchases.

Don’t let this be your customer’s experience!

While we, as financial institutions, will never “run out” of checking accounts or auto loans, how many times has a customer or member left one of our branch offices frustrated with the level of service provided? How many times have the words “I’m sorry, there’s nothing I can do” been uttered? When have we failed to go the extra mile to save a relationship that could have been saved?

If service is something we strive to be great at and hang our hat on, this message bears repeating a thousand times and more. My colleague posted just last week about a sub-par experience with his own credit union. This type of stuff is happening all over the place, all the time!