I have been a BMO customer since I was a boy. I still remember going into the grey stone edifice in downtown Fredericton and having the teller write (!) the new balance in my bank book. In the years since, Cindy and I have had savings accounts, chequing accounts, car loans, RRSP (retirement savings) loans, investments, securities trading accounts, and mortgages with them. We have been relatively happy with them most of the time.
At one point, about 10 years ago, we got to the point where we thought we should start using a financial advisor. We met a very nice lady who agreed to look after our retirement planning, so I withdrew all the RRSP investments we had with BMO and transferred them over to her control. The very next day, a stranger from BMO called me and introduced himself as my “personal banking representative.” He asked me why I had taken all my RRSP business from the Bank. “Because,” I replied, “this is the first time, in 27 years of being a customer, that anyone from the Bank of Montréal has ever called me.”
It’s easy to forget to take care of your non-complaining customers, but it sure makes sense to pay some attention to them – especially if you believe the oft-cited figure that it’s 7 times more expensive to sell to stranger than it is to existing clients.