Blog

Steven Donaldson
Principal

The Touchpoints of Customer Service – That “Good Vibe” Feeling

If you’re like me most of your banking is done online these days. I go the accounts area, pay bills, move money around and occasionally check out other services, all with no person involved. I then deposit checks at nonhuman ATM machines. I usually only interact when I need something fixed or just plain don’t understand what’s going on, so I give my bank a call. I have to say I actually get real people who are in the US and seem to actually have empathy for whatever my issue is. They frequently reduce charges or make recommendations I would not have thought of — gosh, real customer service—what an idea!

And then, the other day, I went to an actual branch that I had not been to in 6 months. I needed to deposit some cash and didn’t trust using an ATM. I walked through the door of the bank and a very polite, welcoming and smartly dressed woman came right up to me and asked what did I need to do? She directed me to a teller who was already waving his hand with a big smile. The transaction was quickly handled and without pressure they wanted to know was there any other need I had at this time? I was overwhelmed with feeling special.

So when I went online to pay bills the next day and saw the Wells Fargo (in this case) logo, I felt like I mattered to them, even though I’m paying the fees and interest for loans. I had a connected experience at all touchpoints that was uniform, genuine and honest. And yet Wells Fargo know for a fact that roughly 75% of their customers bank online and only go into branches or call them up when they have something out of the ordinary. This has to cost them money but they do it anyway because they make money from being what you, the customer wants. These few times customers come to branches or call them bring about a unique opportunity to connect and brand the relationship with that customer. Making the most out of it insures a positive connection and a return customer.

This is something AT&T, Comcast, United Airlines do not get. They completely compromise on the direct customer touchpoints and when they do occur they do not build a consistent and positive experience. These brands say to me “we’ve got you, you can’t get away from us, and we don’t really value the relationship”. That guarantees that I’m always looking for a way to get around them and not buy from them.

Building a consistent customer experience is an absolute must in todays world. You have to understand, whether you’re Wells Fargo, AT&T or just the corner store, that every time your customer connects with you they need to have that “good vibe” of feeling appreciated and respected. This is when price point takes a second seat to a great experience.

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