Are you the type of person who likes to be left alone? Does the idea of having to, (gulp) pick up the phone and talk to someone about a difference you noticed when reconciling you account, make you break out in a cold sweat? Or are you the type of person who doen’t know how to PUT MONEY IN the ATM, and would go for weeks without cashing your paycheck if it wasn’t for the nice people who help you survive each day? Believe it or not, I know both of these people, and if they are reading this now, they know who they are. Both types of person really needs to sit down and think about which type of institution they will be going through!
In earlier posts, we talked a little about the idea of making a thoughtful decision, and in another post, we went through some of the actual differences between the two types of institution, and you pretty much have the type of institution narrowed down, but you realize that you are still left with a lot of choices for each specific type of institution. This is where the real fun begins, because now YOU get to interview someone else.
Every institution works with a company that provides, “Secret Shopping” services so they can get an, “honest” appraisal of how their employees handle routine conversations with customers, (members) in a “normal” setting. If they can do it, why can’t you? What stops you from walking into the branch office with a list of questions to ask the employee BEFORE they you open your account? For me, the answer is. “Not a darn thing!!”
Much like a prospective employer’s job is to sort through all the applications for the opportunity to see WHERE the applicants will screw up so they can walk away, you should take the same attitudes when shopping for a financial service provider. You need to go in wit a Plan!
First thing, you want to know what things are important to you, so when you ask about them, you sound prepared. Things like Internet access to your account, branch locations, direct deposit, safety deposit boxes, etc. Don’t forget, these people will see you coming, and because the are professional salespeople, they will want to put you off guard, and have you signing paperwork ASAP. Your being prepared is something they never deal with, so you can take a little power back and level the scales.