"They" hate it if you call them "bankers." "They" love it, on the other hand, when you ask to see their #s—stupendous. "They" are ... Commerce Bank. These absurdly fast growing, insanely profitable "retailers," rewriting the rules of East Coast retail banking, sent me a copy of their booklet, "Traditions." It explicates their "Wow the Customer Philosophy." At the end there's "A Collection of Commerce Lingo." I won't define (use your imagination), but simply offer a small sample: "Fans, Not Customers." "Say YES ... 1 to say YES, 2 to say NO." (A staffer has to get a supervisor's approval to say "no" to anything.) "Recover!!! To Err Is Human; To Recover Is Devine." "Leave 'Em Speechless." "Positive Behavior." "Positive Language." "Kill A Stupid Rule." (Get cash rewards for exposing dumb internal rules "that impede our ability to WOW!") Make the 'WOW! Answer Guide' Your Best Friend." "Buzz Bee." "CommerceWOW!Zone." (A K-12 financial education program.) "Doctor WOW!" "Ten-Minute Principle." ("Stores" open 10 minutes before posted hours, stay open 10 minutes after posted hours—and the hours, such as open 7 days a week, are already incredibly generous & tradition-shattering.) "Wall of WOW!" "WOW! Awards." (The annual recognition ceremony—Radio City Music Hall, with the Rockettes, in '05.) "WOW! Patrol." "WOW! Spotlight." "WOW Van." "WOW Wiz." (A service superstar.) Etc.
Not your father's bank! Or yours (or mine), for that matter. In a word ... WOW!
NB: Commerce's market cap, via organic growth, has grown at a compound annual rate of 48% from 1993 through 2003. Moving beyond New Jersey, the bank (current assets: $30 billion) will stretch from Boston to Metro D.C.-MD-VA by 2009.
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