Tuesday, April 9, 2013

What Does it Mean to Do Right?

It's strange to say that a commercial from a bank moves you, but when they pull in Maya Angelou to speak on their behalf, it raises an eyebrow or two. 

Maya is the person who is quoted as saying:

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

I could list a whole host of quotes from Maya, but you get my drift. That one, especially, is the mantra for customer experience. So, yea, wow! A bank has her hocking their wares?! Pretty amazing. 

The bank I'm referring to is Union Bank. According to their website, they operate retail locations in California, Oregon, and Washington, and they have commercial locations in Texas, New York, and Illinois. They've been around for quite some time (150 years), and I remember working with them as a client when I was with J.D. Power and Associates in the early 1990s. I don't have a relationship with this bank and never have, but I was really intrigued by their advertising in the last couple of months, particularly their new tagline and commercials that involve "Doing Right."

In the CX world, we talk a lot about doing the right thing at the right time with the right data, right tools, right culture, right people, etc. But I was curious about the "practical application," especially since Union Bank has adopted it as their tag line.

Best I can tell, they've created three commercials and a website to support this message. Here's the commercial with Maya Angelou.

Update: The commercials no longer exist on that website, but I've found one of them elsewhere: 

https://www.ispot.tv/ad/7dMz/union-bank-featuring-maya-angelou

How does she define "Doing Right?"
  • Being honest and fair
  • Say it, show it, and don't stop
Edward James Olmos also did a commercial for Union Bank. In his commercial, he defines Doing Right as:
  • Trust
  • Integrity
  • Commitment
Union Bank also has a "generic" commercial with no actors that is called, "Doing Right. It's Just Good Business." In it, they define good business and doing right as:
  • Building long-term relationships
  • Continuing lending when customers need(ed) the money most (i.e., during the tough economic times of the last five years)
  • Not getting involved in sub-prime lending
As I mentioned above, they have a website that is all about this new branding. It further outlines what they mean by Doing Right, starting back in their early days:
  • Diversity: hired first female employee in 1890
  • Rewarding entrepreneurial spirit
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Freedom of choice: you get to design your checking account with the features you want it to have
  • Choosing long-term relationships over short-term profits
  • Partnering with small businesses
  • Doubled lending to small businesses through the economic downturn rather than cutting lending or stopping it altogether
  • Supporting the local community and encouraging employees to give through community service
  • Flexible hours so "your hours are bankers' hours" (facilitated by multichannel banking solutions)
What do you think? Is this how you would define Doing Right, for a bank or for any company? Do you have a relationship with Union Bank? Everything they say about Doing Right is great. But are they living up to these expectations?  Do their actions speak as loud as (or louder than) their words?

I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way (s)he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.” -Maya Angelou

18 comments:

  1. Great questions. It is interesting to see how Uniion Bank has taken the time to not only ask what are people wanting and needing from their bank, they are also willing to show how they have "lived it."

    Another level of social proof would be what do their customers say?

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    1. Thanks, Michele. I agree. I hope they are actually living it. Haven't heard from a UB customer yet, but I'll share it here when I do.

      Annette :-)

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  2. "When values are clear, decisions are easy." Roy Disney

    I do not think it is a coincidence that the companies that have endured or have built a reputation for consistently delivering an exceptional customer experience are those that have defined their core values and work hard to live them every day. Union Bank serves as a real life business role model. Ritz-Carlton's "We are Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen" has been the "Do Right" message for them and it has certainly distinguished themselves from their hospitality peers.

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    1. Great point, Bill. I love the Ritz-Carlton's motto and message... I know their employees live that. I'd love to hear if Union Bank employees live the Doing Right value, for sure.

      Annette :-)

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  3. Annette,

    I think it is great that Union Bank are sending out that message.

    Words and actions are of course two separate things, but as the old saying goes "they have made their bed so will have to lie in it"

    There advert has backed them into a corner and it will be a PR disaster for them if they don't live by their mantra

    But that is a good thing.

    James

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    1. Thanks, James. I agree. If their actions don't live up to their messaging, this could create a real problem for them.

      Annette :-)

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  4. Nice piece, Annette! It's rare for a company that advertises its values to live up to them. Seems like you've found an example of one that does. And for 150 years no less. Thanks!

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    1. Thanks, Mike. I think they do, but I would still like to hear that from an actual customer.

      Annette :-)

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  5. I think it is great that they have gone "above the line" with their service message and their values. Their leadership is now accountable to their front line if they ever "wibble" on their stated value. I love that they have done this - I would really love to hear if they have lived it!

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    1. Thanks, Dougie. Great point about their leadership being held accountable. To put out such a strong statement means you have to believe it, live it, and ensure your people have the tools and the support to deliver on it.

      Annette :-)

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  6. Hi Annette,
    Thanks for sharing that. A bold example of a firm that is willing to say out loud what it stands for and the standards that it and we will be measuring itself by.

    I bet that, assuming that it continues to deliver on these promises, it'll have a positive impact on their ability to attract talent too.

    Adrian

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    1. Adrian,

      You are right on about how living that value can attract great talent, as well. Thanks for pointing that out.

      Annette :-)

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  7. Every once in a while someone says something so simple it is profound. The concept of “Do Right” is one of those. It really is simple. As it applies to business, do right by the customer and do right by your employees. The combination is what the best companies are made of. This article reminds of the importance of two simple words… Do right!

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    1. You're right, Shep. This is a simple concept. It really goes back to common sense, doesn't it?

      Annette :-)

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  8. As an employee I can say that we work hard to live up to the expectations created by the core values of Union Bank. These values are our strength and our management team empowers us to "do right" by our customers at every interaction.

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    1. Thanks for commenting. Great to hear from a UB employee. I'm delighted to hear you say that. I'm sure it's a wonderful environment, if you're all (management and frontline) working together for a common cause, the customer. I hope the employee experience receives comparable focus by management.

      Annette :-)

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  9. "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

    The only problem with this quote is that no one can make you feel anything you don't choose to feel. Your feelings are your responsibility, and yours only, not that of those around you. They are only responsible for what they say, not for how you interpret. process and choose to respond. To place the blame of how you feel onto someone else is a child's way of thinking.

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    1. Agreed. Eleanor Roosevelt said, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." But the truth of the matter is, that's great in theory and something to aspire to.

      Human nature is what it is. We have feelings. And feelings get hurt by others.

      Annette :-)

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