Want to defuse disgruntled customers and Occupy protesters across the country?
Perhaps bankers should consider the power of a well-timed juicy cut of beef.
At least that's the advice of Peter Shankman, founder and chief executive of social media firm the Geek Factory, Inc.
Speaking at a financial services marketing conference in New York on Tuesday, Shankman described what he calls "the greatest customer service story ever told."
After a long day of travel and meetings this summer, Shankman tweeted — innocuously he thought — that he'd love for national steakhouse chain Morton's to meet him at the airport with dinner when he landed.
The tweet was meant as a joke: "It's like how we tweet 'Dear Winter, please stop, love Peter,' or something similar," he says on his blog.
To Shankman's surprise, when he got off the flight he found himself greeted by a tuxedoed Morton's server with a 24 oz. Porterhouse steak and all the fixin's.
"I. Was. Floored," according to the blog post.
Shankman's takeaway: "Stay on top of what people are saying about you. Respond accordingly. Perhaps most importantly, have a chain of command in place that actually lets you do these things in real time."
His message for bankers on Tuesday was equally simple.
"People are just so sick of feeling like crap. They're so sick of waking up and worrying … are we going to run out of money, are we going to default, is my house underwater?" Shankman said.
Though banks may not be equipped to pull off something as ambitious as the steak stunt, the details still matter.
"The simple act of walking into TD Bank …and I see TD Bank dog biscuits. That right there makes me happy," he said. "It just gives me hope that, hey you know what, not everyone sucks and not everyone out there is running a Ponzi scheme and not everyone is trying to charge me 6 bucks for an ATM fee."