Notice me

As a young Nashville songwriter, I had no money. When I informed my parents, in 1994, that I would be using the business degree that they had paid for to pursue my life-long dream of becoming the next Garth Brooks, my father looked me in the eye and said something I’ll never forget. He said “son, I’ll support you…in spirit. Get a job.”  I packed my bags and headed to Nashville with my guitar on my back and the need to make ends meet. I used to sing demos for extra money, and after a recording session one morning, the engineer suggested a lunch buffet off of West End Avenue that only cost $2.99. He said it was different but good. It was a meat and three, which as any southerner knows, is one meat and three vegetables.  I decided to try out this mysterious buffet and discovered that it was in a nursing home. The nursing home opened its cafeteria to the public and after my first taste of fried okra, fried chicken, and peach cobbler, I was hooked and became a regular. Those who have an aging parent or grandparent in a nursing home know that if you sit down for long enough, someone is going to wheel up beside you wanting to talk. My secret buffet was no different. Every time I was eating lunch, a resident named Anna would wheel her chair up to the table and we would eat lunch together. We would talk and laugh, and she would ask me why I wasn’t yet married. I discovered that she had been a nurse and was married three times. Her kids were all grown and she didn’t see her sons as often as she’d like although her daughter would visit three times a week and take her to church on Sundays. I got the impression that our lunches were the highlight of her day.  Whenever I would get ready to leave, Anna would always put her hand on top of mine, pat it gently and say “thanks for seeing me.” At the time, I assumed she meant “thanks for stopping by”, but looking back I think she simply meant “Thanks for your attention,” “Thanks for noticing me.”

The need to feel noticed is a powerful motivator. Do your members feel noticed? Do they feel important?  The American Society for Quality Control conducted a survey that showed that 68% of lost customers left because of an attitude of indifference by a company employee.” This is a huge opportunity for credit unions to increase and maintain membership simply by noticing your members. Where are the opportunities to notice your members? Even if it’s for a couple of minutes in the drive through or the teller line, those precious moments of attention solidify life-long loyalty. People want to do business with those whom they like and trust. Liking and trust start with being noticed.

Patrick Henry

Patrick Henry

Patrick Henry is an author and speaker from North Carolina. As a former Nashville songwriter and humorist on the SiriusXM Radio Family Comedy Channels, he delivers funny and entertaining keynote ... Web: Details

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