In 2010, Metro Bank London earned itself the distinction of being the first new high-street retail bank to obtain licensure from the UK’s Financial Services Authority in over 150 years. Just five short years later, they are a multi-billion dollar enterprise with over thirty established branches.
How did they do it? Quite simply, they’ve provided their patrons with a degree of uncommonly exceptional customer service that their competitors have thus far been unable to match.
Founder Vernon Hill, a banker who had already had great success at the helm of New Jersey based Commerce Bank, was savvy enough to recognize the competitive edge that industry-leading customer service techniques could net for his company. Hill has since set out to provide his clientele with a host of non-traditional services designed to surprise and delight.
Each Metro Bank branch features a coin counting machine that allows customers to sort and deposit change directly into their bank accounts. A pet-friendly policy calls for the provision of complementary water and dog biscuits for the four-legged companions of bank patrons. The bank provides quotes of just fifteen minutes to open a bank account, and each branch is open for nearly 80 hours a week.
With all these remarkable customer service protocols in place, it’s hard to imagine why anyone would bring their business to one of Metro Bank’s competitors. Over the course of the past five years, Vernon Hill’s bank has successfully leveraged its customer service skills to grow its business exponentially. In 2014 alone their assets grew by a staggering 94%.
Why strive for outstanding customer service? The numbers speak for themselves.
In 2013, the Institute of Economic Affairs honored Hill’s achievements with the prestigious Free Enterprise Award, calling him “a breath of fresh air,” and “a remarkable entrepreneur who has identified a clear opportunity and entered the UK banking scene at a time when the sector has been under constant fire.”
Stay tuned for more updates from John Tschohl, founder and president of the Service Quality Institute.