Customer friendly banking


I suddenly realize I still must withdraw money. A little further on, there is a bank office. The ATMs on the street are gone. I have to go inside.

When I walk into the bank, I see that the interior has been redone. It now looks more like a designer furniture showroom than a bank. I see tables and chairs in cheerful colors, an espresso machine, and one of the walls is covered by a large bookcase with what looks like real books. I am looking for an ATM.

A bank lady walks up to me, smiling. “Can I help you, sir?”

“It’s beautiful here,” I say. “Since when has it been like this?”

“Since yesterday.” She looks around proudly. “Would you like a pastry?” She points at a tray full of pastries on the table.

“No thank you. I want to withdraw money.”

“Oh, that’s not possible here,” she says. Her smile doesn’t budge. “There is a list of addresses outside where that is possible,” she says in her most customer-friendly way. She points to the door I just entered through.

I walk back and look at the list. Not one address is within walking distance. Well great.

I cross the street to buy some greeting cards from Bruna. When I stand in line at the checkout and look around me, I see a bright yellow ATM at the back of the store. It seems to be smiling at me. Or is it laughing at me? Why didn’t that bank lady say I can stop here?

A minute later, I’m standing with the money in my hands. Without a friendly smiling lady, without designer furniture, and without coffee and cake. With the simple help of a machine. It couldn’t be more customer friendly.

Frans Reichardt | The Customer Listener

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