Customer Service and Banks


Customer Service & Banks – An Oxymoron?

If a business owner ran their business like a bank runs theirs … would that business have any customers? Do you remember when banks actually took notice that they were in a service industry?

Walk into any Canadian bank and ask to open a corporate chequing account – the response is, “Do you have an appointment? You answer no, I just want to open an Customer Serviceaccount.” The teller looks at you in frustration as though you were from another planet and responds, “You must have an appointment.” Then carries on with a trained smile, “We have an opening on Monday or Tuesday of next week, which of those days would be good for you?”

Let us turn the tables around – say this same teller walks into your electronics store and states, “I would like to buy one of your 60″ TV’s” and your response is, “Thank you that’s great … let me see, ah yes we can fit you in next Tuesday or if you are in a hurry maybe late Monday afternoon. Big smile “How does that work for you”?

One would presume the teller/customer would leave and head over to the next store to buy their TV … only the next store states the same thing … and the next store and the next. All responding the same.

The electronics stores all followed the leads of the rest of the pack and latched onto a mindset that the customer was not the important thing … profits were the important thing. If customers want our products they will line up with what works best for us … just like a bank.

The banks? Well there is nothing we can do about that in Canada, aside from opening an account south of the border, where due to the plethora of banks they still have to provide service. What we can remember is our Canadian banking experience and look at our own businesses and make absolutely certain that the arrogance of the Canadian banking system does not creep into our businesses.

The customer is and always will be our reason for being in business. Being a businessperson is first learning to serve. By all means make a buck or two out of it, but service to our clients is paramount. If it isn’t we soon cease to be in business … unless you are one of the big 5 Canadian Chartered Banks that is.

Your comments are always welcome – for or against.

ian_conklin2Ian Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America. OTR Web is a Value Added Partner withHubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements  Contact OTR Web.


Creating Fun Content for Your ‘Snoozer’ industry


Creating Fun Content for Your Boring Industry

Ah Marketing, those of us that get into this industry love the challenge and creativity required. We get to meet with clients who are excited about their product or service and then come up with a corporate branding strategy to effectively present them to the public. It’s challenging, fun, measurable and always changing. Things are be going great and then … ‘the email’ arrives.

Your boss is very happy with your work as of late and has a new client for you. A new iStock_000011073926XSmallproject!! It’s corporate branding strategy and one blog post per week and the client wants excitement, Sweet!! The new client is a Self Storage business. Okay, so a snoozer came down the line and it’s your job to create fun content that targets consumers. Your first thought, ‘Who wants to read about big empty rooms where we store random ‘stuff’ we don’t use?’ ‘*blink, blink*

One of your co-workers passes by your desk and sees the look of stunned disbelief on your face. You just point at the email. He smirks, pats you on the shoulder and keeps walking, wishing you luck as he makes his getaway. Your look in their direction says, ‘take me with you.’ Alas, you are left to deal with the yawner of a job.

Boring < Fun Factor

In this case the obstacle is comparable to a rather large mountain. The kind with a permanent snow cap. This ‘Boring’ mountain is what you need to summit. You are going to need to create the ‘Fun Factor’ here. It’s a good thing that as a marketer you have some artistic freedom. First, you should ask yourself about storage lockers to help you create fun content. Here are a few facts:

  • They come in various sizes
  • They are secure
  • Some are heated

Now you need to ask yourself what is fun about this? Think about a couple doing a cleanup. He sees the 6×8 storage locker as a great garage for his Harley. She figures out that she can store 1248 pairs of shoes in the box in the same space with a walkway down the middle for access! You’re on to something! During your weekly post you can add a fun fact about what you can store in various lockers. Shoes, bikes, garden gnomes, vinyl records, pillows, the possibilities are endless. This will create some fun for the viewer. The main purpose of this part of the corporate branding strategy is fun. Sure it’s nice to know that 1248 pairs of shoes or a Harley can fit into the same storage locker, but it’s not vital. Price, security, space and heating are important, but they aren’t fun. Garden gnomes are fun!

Create Remarkable Content eBook


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Simplicity = Fun

Once you tap into something fun the tendency will be to overdo it. You know what happens when something fun gets over complicated? It ceases to be fun!

Don’t do it!

It is very important that you keep the fun factor = to simplicity. You have selected your fun factor, in this case, ‘how many ? can fit in the storage unit’. Avoid the temptation to build a database of random objects and and locker sizes. That will be fun for only one visit, then the magic will be gone. On the other hand if you release one new Locker Fact per week, it will be fun and some will even return just to see what has been posted. The payoff will come when someone decides they need a storage locker. By creating fun content your clients product will be filed away in the publics’ brain in a positive, fun way. When they need a storage locker they will most likely call Fun Factor Storage first.

Silver ‘Re’ Cap

  • Create the fun. Sometimes it isn’t there to begin with
  • Keep It Simple Silly – Don’t overcomplicate
  • Create fun content (It’s worth mentioning twice)

More examples of fun content for snoozer industries can be found here in our free eBook shown above.

Social Media is a Conversation


Colin is the Social Media and Content Marketing guru at OTR Web Solutions a web development and content marketing company since 2000, with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.


Responding to a Blog Post to Your Own SEO Advantage


Responding to a Blog Post to Your Own SEO Advantage

If you write any amount of blogs you will have had the experience of receiving comments back (often software driven or many times written by an offshore SEO specialist and most times in poor English) that hopefully your spam blocker catches or if  not, you read and think, you have to be kidding me! Here is one from a clients site. This one was written well enough that the Askimet Plug In ( a pretty good WP spam detector) was not certain about it  and placed in the possible spam box. “Car shopping can be very time consuming. There are plenty of cars you can look at, as well as a handful of factors to consider. You need to make sure you are aware of what you need to make it a better experience. Consider the following helpful advice for making things easier on you.”  All good except the blog post was about personal life coaching! Into the spam bucket it went, even though it was manually placed there. The bottom line is the comment never made the light of day on the blog.

The main SEO reason for commenting was the hard sought after authoritative back-link. In times past many blogs designated the link back to your website as “follow” whereas now most are designated as “no-follow” and as such there is not the benefit of back-links from different sources. BUT there are still a benefits to be gained if you are willing to put in the time.

Improve Your Visibility with a well written comment in a related blog. Almost always your link is included with a blog comment and there is a good chance the reader will go to your blog and read it …. IF your comment is actually helpful and not just spam.

Establish Credibility again with a well written comment. Just adding a comment without having actually read the blog and the other comments will just make you look silly and will probably never get published. Be sure you know your topic and speak authoritatively and you will enhance your brand and market.

Build Relationships again with a well written comment. When you write intelligently about a topic you encourage responses and that builds relationships not only with the readers but also with other industry specialists. They all like to read good intelligent comments, sometimes they might disagree but the responses create ongoing dialogue.

Back-links, again with a well written comment you can capture the attention of the blog author as well as the the readers that have commented. Blog authors love authoritative and intelligent commentary and will often encourage you to write more by including your link in their post.

Did you happen to notice the key phrase in each of the points? I will repeat it again “A well written comment” that is relative to the original blog post (which you have actually read) and the ensuing comments will most often capture peoples attention and draw a response. By all means at the end of your comment leave an open-ended CTA such as, “I’d love to discuss this further, feel free to drop me an email.”

If you want to learn more about how to use blogs to your SEO advantage then click the link below to gain some valuable tips.

Your comments are always welcome.


Ian Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America. OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements  Contact OTR Web.