Bankers abhor surprises!

See The Best Surprise by Kevin Salwen on Travel who said that those of a certain age will certainly remember the Holiday Inn ad campaign “The best surprise is no surprise.” But lately, I’ve been surprised many a time in my hotel stays — and almost always to the upside.

— In New York, at the Dream Hotel (a New Age-style place with Deepak Chopra themes — I’m not kidding), the Gideon’s Bible has been replaced by The Teaching of Buddha. For the first time in years, I actually started reading.
— In Santa Monica, at the Loew’s Hotel, there’s a remarkable computer-screen jukebox in the lobby with 3,000 songs that allows guests to “program music for the entire hotel.” I tossed on a Sheryl Crow tune.
— In San Francisco, at the Adagio, a great basket of Aveda products adorned the bathroom. Mint and rosemary shampoo, anyone?

Hotels are scrambling to be more distinctive — and I should quickly note that these are mostly mid-priced places. Some openly tout 300-thread-count sheets, others in-room high-speed wireless, still others plasma TVs. Is there another industry that is working as hard to out-unique the other guy?

I agree with Kevin. And certainly the airline industry is one example of negative surprises. My travels continue to emphasize for me the airline industry’s total disregard for their customers … It is not surprising to me that there is only one airline that has made money in the last 30 years! Southwest continues to focus on its core mission and treats its employees as members of the family in a way that encourages them to treat their customers likewise. Read the book, Nuts!

One industry that abhors surprises is the banking industry. When a customer borrows money, the bank expects to be repaid! Funny about that. Tip: When you know in advance that you will have a problem making the loan payment, go to your lending officer and explain the circumstances. Bankers are people, they want to help and will do so if approached in advance of a problem. Suggest alternative ways in which you can handle the challenge and ask for their input and advice.

The worst thing you can do in such situations is ignore the problem and fail to let them know in advance.


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