Why Customer Experience?

On a cold December morning when I was 22 years old, I made a stupid mistake and lost my debit card. I had $520 to my name–just enough for rent and food for myself and my expecting wife. By the time I realized my mistake and called my bank, I was scared, furious, and sure that the little bit of foothold I had made in life was about to crumble.

After two fraudulent charges equal to the majority of the money in my account were confirmed, I was transferred to a fraud specialist. Long moments passed…

“Miss Emmons, I’ve reviewed your account and I understand the situation. I want you to know you aren’t liable for unauthorized charges, and we’ll get your funds back to you within 24 hours. It’s great that you called us so soon.  I’m going to need your help to verify a few things. I’m going to ask you about a few transactions, okay?”

By the time the representative was done talking, I was calm. I felt like I was a hero. This type of thing happens to a lot of people. I was smart and responsible. I took care of it right away. I had made a good choice of a banking institution. In a few quick sentences, less than a hundred words, the trajectory of my life changed. The representative didn’t do me any special favors. They simply enacted policy but in the context of providing a great customer experience in a difficult situation.

I wasn’t a high-value customer. I wasn’t on anyone’s preferred customer list. I had negative net worth. But I was given a transformative experience instead of a transactional one.

It’s been nearly twenty years since that event. I have obtained home mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, money market accounts several times over. And I call that same bank first every time.

Customer Experience allows us to channel the power of business to make meaningful impacts at key moments in our customers’ lives. Today, maybe they are just paying a bill or setting up a reservation. But we are always on the very edge of intercepting a customer at just the right moment when a simple act of service and a little precise framing can make all the difference.

I live and breathe Customer Experience because it is where we impact lives.