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A Bank Manager named after a Quarterback on what Customer Service comes down to....

In these Articles, my goal is to give you practical tools and some "fire" that can help you in your career and life. The information here comes from things I learn from the Speaking Trail.


I had the opportunity to deliver the keynote at the annual Four Flags Area Chamber of Commerce 'Salute to Business' Awards banquet.


With an after-dinner Talk, I focus on humor, inspiration and leaving the audience with two to three practical tools they can take with them. I have great appreciation for the accomplishments of those in the audience and work hard to tailor a presentation that is of value to their time.


Before speaking, I had a wonderful conversation with Coley Pesce, Branch Manager and Assistant Vice President of Chemical Bank there in Niles, Michigan.


You will get a kick how Coley got his name. Back when his Dad and Mom were dating in College, they were in attendance at the classic 1966 football game between number 2 ranked Michigan State and number 1 ranked Notre Dame. The game would later be voted the Game of the 20th Century. Notre Dame's quarterback Terry Hanratty got knocked out of the game by Michigan State's Bubba Smith (Bubba would go on to be Moses Hightower in the first six Police Academy movies and star in Miller Lite commercials). When the starting quarterback got knocked silly, a scrappy reserve named Coley O'Brien came in as his replacement.


Coley would throw a touchdown pass to Bob Gladieux (who later built a successful Travel Business) to help Notre Dame to a 10-10 tie. Turning to his girl friend, Coley Pesce's future Dad said, "If we get married and IF we have a boy we are naming him after Coley O'Brien."


They got married, had a boy, and named him Coley O'Pesce. That must be something to have someone named after you. To my knowledge, no Charlie's out there have been named after me (!).


Well, while at the head table at the Awards Banquet, we got into a spirited discussion of Customer Service, one of my passionate speaking topics, and one that I wrote about here last week.


"Charlie," Coley told me, "Customer Service is simple but not as many people today get that it is that simple. As Branch Manager, when someone walks out of our Bank I want them to think, 'Wow, I got more than I expected...and I need to tell someone what kind of service I got there.'"


Coley continued.


"If someone comes in and says it was a tough drive in because of bad weather I want our people to get them a cup of coffee and sit down with them. If someone comes in that is having a hard time balancing their checkbook, rather than automatically charging some fee I want to let them know they can go run some errands or go get a bite to eat and we will balance it for them."


"So much of that kind of Customer Service seems to be lost these days," said Coley. "We're told so often to be efficient and to maximize profits and to get the next one in and out. Banking margins are so thin that a major separator is the Customer Service experience. It all starts when I interview someone here. I tell them that in our location in Niles there are five companies like us within a one mile range. The rates are virtually the same. The only way to differentiate ourselves is that when people come in they truly get to like us and feel secure with us, or they can go somewhere else."


Before the banquet, I talked with Jeremy Bayles, who manages a Wings, Etc. Restaurant in the Chamber area. He talked with great enthusiasm with me about how he makes it a priority to develop relationships with their customers and how his staff focuses on that as well. They get to know names and the stories of the people that come in to get wings and the relationships lead to repeat business.


I have always loved delivering keynotes at Chamber Awards banquets or more in depth seminars at their locations during the day. Chamber members are people who have great passion for their business. That particular night several received awards. One of the head table members told me that when some business owners are notified ahead of time that they will be receiving a prestigious award at the annual banquet, they break down in tears. Why? Because they have worked so hard to build their business or maintain a tradition, that it touches them deeply to receive recognition.


As someone once told me at a Talk, when you work for a company, school, or any kind of organization, you want to totally give of yourself as a team player, one with an upbeat, solution-centered positive attitude, and one that when you retire or leave you have 'left your blood in the bricks.'


- Charlie Adams, Motivational Speaker
574 807 2279 || Email Charlie