Cusomized Loans and PerksPlus bring Pontiac Coffee Break to CSB
Pontiac Coffee Break Company President Bob Smith has 2500 customers in Southeastern Michigan. They range from small mom and pop stores, to attorneys' and doctors' offices, retail and other commercial businesses, schools and government agencies and more.
All customers receive free cream and sugar and free use of a high-quality coffeemaker (a clean coffee pot is delivered with each coffee order). Beyond that, however, Bob's customers receive customized service plans for coffee blends, additional products like tea, hot cocoa and other items, and delivery schedules. Makes sense, doesn't it? So, when Bob wanted a customized loan plan from his former bank to ease his cash flow, he was surprised he was turned down.
"No-one was willing to loan me a small amount of money for a short term. They would have loaned me a million dollars if I had asked for it, but I didn't need that much. I wanted to buy new coffeemakers like I do from time to time. It costs me a few thousand dollars, and I usually pay for Cal1 them and put up with a short term cash flow problem," he said.
When Jim Zick at Clarkston State Bank approached Bob about moving his account to CSB, Bob told him what he was looking for in terms of a loan, and Jim made it happen. "Bank products are all the same. Big banks can lend more than we do - they usually won't lend less than $250,000 - but we can personalize services. We created a particular loan vehicle for Bob. It's not the norm, but we did something for him no one else tried to do. It may not be a "by-the-book" product, but my goal is to make loans, not turn them down," said Jim.
C&B;'s free deposits and free courier service were also selling points for Bob. "It's crazy that people charge you money to put money in your own account. And the courier service comes by every day to pick up checks, saving us a lot of time," Bob added.
Bob used to bank with a small bank that was bought out by a larger bank. "Their customer service declined. Bigger is not always better," he said. "The people at G§B are nice people to deal with. Jim stays in touch with me and we see each other at local business functions. I'm totally pleased with everything they've done."
Jim looks at it this way: "When I think of small business men or women I like to think of the cartoon drawing of the guy with the light bulb over his head - full of ideas. We like to think of ourselves as the electricity to keep that light bulb shining."
"Small business men and women are entrepreneurs. We're an entrepreneurial business too. People don't think of a bank in those terms, but that's what we do," said Jim.