Monday, March 21, 2005

Moments of Truth in Banks

The website from The McKinsey Quarterly has an article titled Better Customer Service in Banks (free registration required). Here’s a copy/paste from the first paragraphs:

How can banks improve the customer experience? A survey of 2,100 retail-banking customers in the United States suggests that institutions should start by examining the everyday events that most affect, for good or ill, a customer's perception of them.

The main attraction of this short article is a chart listing ten events -or “moments of truth” - faced by a sample of bank customers, the number of customers who experienced such events, and the percentage of respondents who experienced resolution of the event as positive.

The ugly “moments of truth”? Mistakes in customer’s account, unexpected fees, problems with availability of funds, and change of bank’s fees, terms, or balance requirements.

Technorati Tags: Banks Customer Service Business

Dinner during a flight in Business Class

  1. Three hour flight.
  2. Arriving to destination at 10PM.
  3. Business Class.

I didn’t have anything for lunch during that day because I was quite busy preparing for my trip. Also because my expectation based on the three points mentioned above (and to the fact that I had traveled the same route and the same flight in the past) is that I was going to get something for dinner during the flight. As a customer, that was my expectation of service.

What was the service that I actually received?

Two bags of peanuts.

Quite a large gap between expected and received service.

Technorati Tags: Airlines Customer Service Business

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

On the Road Again...

[Cue in Willie Nelson - Pre H&R Block days]

I'm currently in a business trip... taking notes to share with our readers.

Stay tuned...

[Now you'll have the song playing in your head all day]

Thursday, March 10, 2005

First-come, first-served? Well, not really...

First-come, first-served? Well, not really. Is it fair? It depends.

A study from The Center for Hospitality Research at Cornell University compares the perceived fairness of seating approaches that shift demand and violate the first-come, first served expectation. A copy/paste from the Executive Summary:

This study tested the following four demand-shifting tactics: seating guests according to party size (by matching party size to available tables), accepting reservations for large parties only, seating VIP guests in preference to others, and allowing guests to call ahead to put their name on the waitlist for an approximate seating time.

The most frowned-upon practice? VIPs getting tables before other customers.

Regardless of the seating policy, the authors advise:

Restaurants’ waitlist policies that violate the first-come, first-served principle should be implemented carefully and with an explanation to all customers.

What if we are more generous when tipping the maitre d’?

Technorati Tags: Customer Service Business

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

They don't know? Or they do know but they won't?

Sometimes I wonder:

Do companies offer bad service because they don’t know what their customers expect?


They DO know what their customers expect, but can’t or don’t want to offer it?

This thought came when I was reading this post in the Tom Peter’s Blog.

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Thursday, March 03, 2005

And now here we have tonight's "Top Ten List"

From, Gap Inc's Top 10 Rules to Create a Successful Customer Loyalty Program:

1) Master the basics first

2) Identify drivers

3) Ask yourself three questions:

  • How will this help the customer?
  • Can the offering be supported at the necessary operational scale?
  • Do the financials work?

4) Create unique programs

5) Lead technology effort

6) Align the organization

7) Leverage all channels

8) Know and maintain your ethics

9) Measure like crazy

10) Get outside yourself

We completely agree with them, particularly #9.

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Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Music will not necessarily make things better.

What goes through your customers’ minds when they are on hold waiting for “the next available representative”?

Here’s a good example. (From

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Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Customer service agents in India are getting an earful

Call center employees in India are getting “abusive hate calls” from American customers, The Washington Post reports (free registration required).

Some experts believe this is caused by the resentment felt by some people over the loss of American jobs due to outsourcing. Also, 25% of call center agents “identified such calls as the main reason for workplace stress”

What can we learn from them? Most importantly -as an expert quoted in the article recommends- try not to take it personally when a customer gets mad and acts irrationally.

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