On a tour of a Wachovia branch a few weeks after its acquisition by Wells Fargo & Co., Carrie Tolstedt saw a teller give her manager something called a "service signal." When Tolstedt asked the Wachovia regional manager accompanying her about the practice, he explained that, per Wachovia's policy, customers who leave a branch unsatisfied are flagged for a prompt follow-up phone call.

"I left the branch, picked up the phone, called my sales and service leader, and said, 'How fast can we install this in the West?'" Tolstedt, says. Within a few weeks, the service signals were standard policy in all legacy Wells branches.

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