Slideshow Would your bank go this far to help its customers?

  • November 30 2017, 10:00pm EST
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Would your bank go this far to help its customers?

Richard Ware, chairman and president of Amarillo National Bank, has a simple philosophy that his employees live by: Be nice to everyone and don’t steal. He emphasizes that the use of "everyone" – as opposed to just customers – is intentional. The longtime banker is all about gaining market share, and he says you never know when you might be able to bring a customer over from a rival or deepen an existing relationship.

This love of customer service is something that Ware has inherited from his family, who has owned and operated the bank since 1909. For instance, Ware likes to tell a story about how a guy from Boston visited First National Bank across the street in 1920. But the Bostonian didn’t like how he was treated there so he stopped by Amarillo National and B.T. Ware — who bought the bank and was Richard’s great-grandfather — pounced on the opportunity.

B.T. Ware “was really nice to him and he started banking with us,” Richard Ware says. That fellow has been a customer of the bank ever since and now has a trust account worth millions. At one point, he was even given a key to the back door “so he could come and get his mail,” Ware said.

“All of that from just being nice to the guy one day,” Ware said.

But Amarillo National’s exemplary customer service isn’t just for the wealthy. Customers from all backgrounds are valued and receive the same treatment. For instance, an Amarillo National employee found out that one of her customers was about to lose her electricity so she paid her bill and then bought the customer $500 worth of groceries. Here are a half dozen other instances shared by bank officials in which employees went beyond the call of duty.

After-hours deposit

A customer’s purse was stolen so she had no money for the weekend. An employee received the call after hours and took some of her own money by the customer’s house on her way home.

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Special delivery

A woman had just given birth and needed a cashier's check to close on a house that same day, so an employee ran the check over to her.

Mobile banking

A customer recently lost her husband, who handled all of the bills and personal business. An employee goes to her nursing home once a month to help her with mail, deposits, bills and anything else she needs.

No charge for respect

An elderly woman came in wanting to withdraw money from her account. Branch employees searched for her accounts using her Social Security number and ID before asking if she had a debit card or something with an account number on it. She pulled out a Bank of America receipt and then appeared to be confused about where she was and needed directions to B of A — so a teller took her there.

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Fill ‘er up

An employee helped a customer push his car to a gas station after the customer ran out of gas.

Fill ‘er up — the sequel

A customer regularly comes in with his personal coffee cup so the branch employees are always ready with some coffee for him.