How can you take what you know about your customers---their emotions, priorities, challenges and needs---to show that you want to be there for them? Take time to think about it.  Because if you can do this, you earn customers who will rave and tell others about your business.

It’s not unusual for more and more people to watch their expenses given the tougher economic climate.  For some, it means literally counting and saving coins.

TD Bank thought about the hassles of coins and came up with a great idea to help their customers. They made the decision to be there for their customers---and non-customers---by installing fun to use Penny Arcades in their bank lobbies.  Loose coins go in, receipts pop out, and the bank cashier hands you the bills, adds the value to your account or deposits it in a quickly opened new account. And no fees! This company, beloved by their customers, did the hard work of recognizing a common customer issue and solved it.

The Results

The good news is that it’s paying off for both customers and the bank. TD Bank attracted 5 million customers and non-customers into the bank in one year to watch the Penny Arcade and experience the service, plus possibly become a customer. And because of non-customers using the Penny Arcade, demand for new accounts grew;  TD Bank also created a faster way to open a new account. Talk about a service magnet! It’s rare anyone goes into a bank where they don’t already have an account, but this magnet drew them in. The bank knew that besides making change, it would be making friends.

TD Bank changed the perception of managing coins, visiting bank lobbies and the whole banking experience. They made it fun and easy, and have earned the right to their customers’ continued business and positive word of mouth.

Beloved Companies Are There for Customers

Being there for customer fuels the prosperity engine of beloved companies. Beloved companies think and rethink how to conduct themselves, so they earn the right to their customers’ continued business.

You want to leave customers thinking:

  • “Where else could I get this?”

  • “Who else would have done this?”

  • “I want to do this again.”

Being there for the customer means identifying a customer’s needs and creating solutions that can also satisfy underlying emotions. Coins are unavoidable. The collection of coins can be stressful or annoying, and dealing with banks on their terms is the norm we’ve all accepted. TD Bank turned this assumption upside down, acknowledged the stress, eliminated it, and took the banking experience to the next level, making loose change fun to deal with and even attracting new customers to their business as a result.

Try This

To prepare to brainstorm service magnet ideas for your company you may want to start by thinking about experiences that really attract you as a customer and bring you back and time and time again.

What companies and experiences have you told your friends about? What’s the magnet? These examples will give you a flavor for the exceptional moments that you want to create in your own business. Now think about your customer’ lives and how you can  be there and show you understand them and support what’s important to them.

Remember, your service magnet doesn’t have to fit exactly into your line of business. For example, Zane’s Cycles has a mini coffee shop in the back of their stores that attracts customers and noncustomers alike that share a passion for cycling.

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image of Jeanne Bliss
Jeanne Bliss began her career at Lands’ End where she reported to founder Gary Comer and the company’s executive committee, ensuring that in the formative years of the organization, the company stayed focused on its core principles of customer and employee focus. She was the first leader of the Lands’ End Customer Experience. In addition to Lands’ End, she has served Allstate, Microsoft, Coldwell Banker Corporation and Mazda Corporations as its executive leading customer focus and customer experience. Jeanne has helped achieve 95% retention rates across 50,000 person organizations, harnessing businesses to work across their silos to deliver a united and deliberate experience customers (and employees) want to repeat. Jeanne now runs CustomerBliss (, an international consulting business where she coaches executive leadership teams and customer leadership executives on how to put customer profitability at the center of their business, by getting past lip service; to operationally relevant, operationally executable plans and processes. Her clients include Johnson & Johnson, TD Ameritrade, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospitals, Bombardier Aircraft and many others. Her two best-selling books are Chief Customer Officer: Getting Past Lip Service to Passionate Action and I Love You More than My Dog: Five Decisions that Drive Extreme Customer Loyalty in Good Times and Bad. Her blog is She is Co-founder of the Customer Experience Professionals Association.