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The Loyalty Golden Chalice:
5 Steps to Creating a Great Customer Experience

Posted by Michael VanErdewyk

It’s the latest marketing buzzword: Omnichannel. And its definition is this: a multichannel approach to sales that aims to deliver your customer a seamless experience – whether the customer is interacting with you online via a mobile device or desktop, by telephone or in a brick-and-mortar store. And it’s a major component in any company’s effort to bolster customer loyalty.

Creating great marketing and/or a great customer experience requires inhabiting all possible channels by which a customer can actually reach a brand and then delivering a compelling experience through each and every one of those channels. Banks are in a unique position to deliver such experiences, though it’s not been the traditional way they’ve operated and up to now, when they have tried, they’ve not quite figured out how best to do it.

And so many things can go wrong when fielding an omnichannel experience. A cursory list includes:

  • The mobile app is a dud.
  • It’s too hard to recover a password from a website.
  • Updating a mobile app that writes over personalizations people rely on regularly.
  • Context is not maintained – gathering information on a problem or issue that a consumer faces and then making the consumer repeat it over and over again every time they speak to different personnel.
  • Telephone customer support takes too long.
  • The brick-n-mortar experience is underwhelming; taking far too long to serve the customer, or there are not enough personnel, or the personnel on hand lack the necessary training to share details about cross- and up-sell programs.

How can banks forge a compelling and consistent omnichannel experience?

1. Delight your customers. Surprise them with great yet unexpected experiences. This involves staff training and ongoing updates of bank offerings.

2. Consistency across all channels. This demands a good, hard look at what’s in place, what’s working and what’s not – and a willingness to make the necessary changes. Once those changes are implemented, it’s a matter of maintenance.

3. Minimize customer waiting time while maximizing that time as well. Implement strategies that minimize wait times. That can be DIY (Do it Yourself) transactions. That can be staff training. That can be automatic callbacks for customer support calls during peak hours, online kiosks in banks, etc. It’s anything that streamlines your processes. But there will, of course, be some waiting time. Leverage that waiting time by providing information about other options/opportunities you offer.

4. Offer free research tools and advisory services. Enable customers to research such options as loan terms, investments, etc., and so that they can compare products and their options that they may be considering.

5. Train, Train, Train your employees. Check out what respected restaurateur Danny Meyer said – in a 2007 speech – about the role of hospitality in delivering great experiences:

If a waiter puts a spoon on the left side of the table I’m sitting at, I can’t tell if he or she is on my side. This is service. But if a waiter remembers that I didn’t like the big spoon with my soup last time I was at their restaurant, I know they are on my side. That’s hospitality. Service is a monologue. Hospitality is a dialogue.

And it starts with training… a lesson applicable to any business, including yours.

So, now is the time to create that great omnichannel experience for your customer. The payoff will be that elusive loyalty golden chalice.

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