A banking client of mine sent through an article titled Banking In A Changing World: Moments of truth at the front line. And it makes for a very interesting read. Here is my edited highlight:

Many banks are falling short when it comes to customer loyalty. Although they are investing record sums in traditional loyalty programs, customer relationship management technology, and general improvements in service quality, most of these initiatives end in disappointment. What’s regularly missing, in our experience, is the spark between the customer and frontline staff – the spark that helps transform wary or skeptical customers into committed brand followers. That spark and the behavior that creates it explain how the organizations that are best at customer service earn trust and loyalty during “moments of truth.”

A moment of truth happens when a customer invests a great deal of emotional energy in the outcome of a key event: when reporting the loss of a credit card, say, or when asking for investment advice. Superb handling of these moments calls for an instinctive and emotionally driven frontline response that puts the customer’s emotional needs ahead of the company’s and the employee’s agendas.

The article then quantifies the value of that “spark’: After a positive experience, 87% of customers in our European survey bought more products or invested more of their assets. Just as tellingly, 72% reduced their commitment when things turned sour.

I find it fascinating that no matter what programs, technology and initiatives the organisation puts in place to please its customers, it all comes down to one moment; the ‘spark’ that makes it either a great experience, or a total disaster. As the saying goes, “smile and the world smiles with you”.

Richard Sauerman
Richard Sauerman
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