I was a tourist in Branson, MO recently and as to be expected, had some sub-par experiences in the crowded restaurants. Many seemed perfectly happy offering mediocre food and sticky seats. They know I probably won’t be back, because some other stranger will take my place. They're just in it for today's dollar.

On the flip side, you actually want stickiness in your institution. You're in it for today's and tomorrow's dollars.

Here's what you can learn from a restaurant with the right kind of sticky:

Landry's stood head and shoulders above the rest because every touchpoint was consistently, exceedingly good. They were there to give me a customized experience. Unlike most others on the strip, they had thought of everything. We arrived weary and ahead of our reservation, so we went to the lounge for a cool drink. The bartender introduced herself. She went through some mental gymnastics to get us the best appetizer combo. She asked if we were locals or visitors and she made us feel welcome.

they knew our names
When our reservation time came up, we were seated promptly. We received personalized menus with a welcome message and our names at the top. Remarkable. Fun.

When we sat down, the server already knew our names. Can I repeat that? The server knew our names. She greeted us warmly, and remembered each of us the whole evening. And we weren’t her only table.

they made us feel smart
The server (Mary—I remember her, too) obviously knew the products and the wine. She asked what we liked, and usually affirmed our choices with a few words like, “that’s a really good choice,” or “I think you’ll like that.” (Have you ever noticed how that makes you feel?)wet nap for bank brands: keep things sticky

they knew their brand
Everyone there knew their stuff. They were proud to be working there. They were professional: from their uniforms to their attitude, to their product knowledge. They all were an excellent representation of the brand. They had hit a home run. No, a grand slam.wet nap for bank brands

Was it expensive? Yes. Did it hurt? No. We received an incredible amount of value.

4 DOs that apply to your financial institution:

DO anticipate the customers’ needs. Don’t be content to be merely an order-taking banker. Know what your customer and her business is doing. Read the trades. Follow her company on social media. Listen. That way, you can ask intelligent questions and offer appealing recommendations.

DO affirm their choices. Once you’ve listened and guided, reassure them so they feel great about the (much more) important decisions you’re helping them make.

DO wear your name tag so customers and prospects learn your name. Make it easy and pleasurable to do business with you. Be memorable and be referrable.

DO have customer names already filled in on paperwork. Like the customized menus, it’s a nice surprise. It also saves time for the customer and for you.

Don't be like the hordes of restaurants and attractions who treat people with a devil-may-care attitude. Just because it’s painful for customers to leave you doesn’t mean they won’t. If they’re neglected, they will tell others. Eventually, no matter how many products they have with you, they'll take their hard-earned dollars elsewhere.

For help making sure your institution is sticky in all the right places, call Martha Bartlett Piland direct at 785.969.6203.