How to Win Some Customers Back

Free CheckingSmall miracles really do happen! People may admit mistakes. Companies can be wrong. And bloggers are able to apologize.

Yesterday in the mail, I received a letter from my favorite financial institution based in Wayzata (Minneapolis), Minnesota. You may remember them from a previous post. See here.

In summary, they made a decision late last year that essentially killed one of their main differentiators in the marketplace – free checking.

As a result, a parade of customers, including my business account, marched elsewhere, most likely to credit unions. Their CEO admitted that there was an exodus of accounts impacting the bottom line on their first quarter earnings call.

Originally, when I quit the company, it wasn’t because of the fee. Yes, it irked me endlessly. I was sick and tired of being nickeled and dimed by too many companies. Unfortunately for them, they came around at the wrong time with their hand in my wallet. What really pissed me off, however, was that they were killing off one of their strongest competitive differentiators. Now they looked like everyone else. My loyalty turned to animosity.

As I dove into the details, though, I discovered a way to avoid the fee on my personal accounts. However, there was no relief for my business checking account. For the privilege of storing my cash in their vault, they we going to charge me a fee. So like a Survivor contestant, the tribe had spoken and it was time to go.

And it cost them an account.

It was about to cost them two others as well. Until I received a little note in the mail.

Was the news too good to be true?

The letter stated that starting in July, they would automagically transfer my “terms & conditions” checking account to a new free checking account.

It will be back to the good ol’ days! Yippee!

They have a differentiator. Again.

Since I was no longer a business checking customer, I called their contact center to see if they restored their free business checking. Unfortunately, they had not. Swing and a miss.

At least they will stand out from the crowd in personal banking again. Time will tell if the customer crowd returns.

For now, I have a house divided. I will keep my new free business checking at the credit union and retain my personal accounts with the company from the land of ice and snow (and beautiful summers, btw).



What mistake do you need to correct today?


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Todd Brockdorf
Better than Average Guy
#1 Best-Selling Author, Speaker, Thought Leader
[email protected]

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