Ask the average person on the street how much a quarter is worth, and chances are they'll say, "Not much." And in one sense, they'd be right; 25 cents doesn't buy much these days.
But Steve Hansen, vice president and senior residential sales manager for Associated Bank's Madison West office, tells a different story – one in which a quarter proved to be worth a small fortune in new business.
"Some months ago, a man walked into our Middleton branch with a specific coin request," Hansen said. "He was looking for a Colorado quarter for his 12-year-old son, who had already collected the other 49 state coins."
Senior teller Kim Schaefer searched for one, he said – in vain. "Except for having had a nice chat with one of the Associated loan officers while she hunted, the man went away empty-handed."
Schaefer did not let the matter drop, however. She continued searching for the elusive quarter in her spare moments until finally, the next day, she found one tucked away in another teller's coin tray.
"She'd had the foresight to take the man's name and number, so she was able to call him immediately with the good news."
The man was so impressed with this level of customer service, Hansen said, that he decided to move a stalled mortgage application from a competitor over to Associated Bank – an application for the purchase of a $200,000 vacation condominium in the north woods.
"It was a difficult deal," he added, "which is why it had stalled with our competitor. But thanks to our team's persistence in pulling it all together, we were able to close on the loan in relatively short order."
Now even more impressed with the way the staff had gone beyond the call of duty for him, the customer returned the favor by telling everyone he knew about his experience – including his own customers. He then moved both his personal and business accounts to Associated Bank.
"It's a great lesson in excellent customer service and alert cross-selling," Hansen said. "It's also a fine demonstration of the true value of a quarter."