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The customer experience at your bank: get the real picture.

The_ScreamThis famous painting, by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, showing an agonized figure against a blood red sky, has often been used to illustrate the angst people feel when they are forced to deal with a society incapable of reason (sort of like the way a bank feels when dealing with the Treasury Department.)

Unfortunately, banks have put their customers through this wringer on more than one occasion. The customer experience ought to be one of the best things that happened during the entire week. Too often it degenerates into something far worse.

To improve the customer experience, we suggest you become fanatical about how your customers are treated.

If you’re distracted and not making your customer experience a top priority, bad things can happen to you—fast. Here’s an example of a real horror story, where the policy “tail” was permitted to wag the dog. http://consumerist.com/2009/09/bank-of-america-asks-armless-man-for-thumbprint.html

Sorry to pick on B of A, but the bank has made national news for this kind of gaffe more than once in the past few years—sort of the “gang who can’t shoot straight” kind of thing. So, ask yourself, “Do my employees put customers though this same series of hoops?” A better question, “Do I get angry thinking that this could happen to my customer?” The best question, “Do I even know when this happens to my customer?”

Maybe your bank doesn’t aggravate customers to that extent, but just how good is the customer experience at your bank? Is your bank perceived as unreasonable? Of course you must have policies and procedures. But you should also have employees should be trained to know when to get help with exceptions.  Don’t ever forget that customer perception is what defines their reality. It is the customers’ reality that keeps your lights on.

Being obsessive about a high quality customer experience is just another way of acknowledging that improving customer service is the most important thing you can do for your bank.

Are you a zealot? Are you unwilling to settle for “good enough?” Then you’re building strong customer loyalty.

Be on the lookout for the next post or view the whole series on our website:
Why Fanaticism is a Good Thing.