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  • Michael Ruckman posted an update in the group Group logo of Customer Experience CultureCustomer Experience Culture 5 years, 9 months ago

    Okay, here’s another one. I was just on a business trip to Russia, and at my first ATM stop, I found that my ATM card was blocked. I checked online, and I noticed that there were about 3000 USD worth of transactions on the card from ATMs in Mexico. I called the bank, and they informed me that they had blocked the card and would send me a new one. Now I was on the phone with the bank at about 10:00pm on a Monday night. To my great surprise, at 1:00 pm the next day (about 15 hours later) I received a package with an emergency ATM card. I found this to be quite impressive considering my bank was half a planet away from me at the time.

    The only thing left to do was call to activate the card. Here is where the culture failed. The person that helped me the day before had been absolutely fantastic – great attitude, helpful, efficient, etc. The person that I had to speak with to activate the card was probably the most condescending and unpleasant person I have spoken with in quite some time.

    So, while I was totally impressed with 90% of what had happened up to that time, it is that last 10% that ruined the whole thing.

    It was like biting into luscious and beautiful apple only to find an ugly, grainy worm squirming around in the middle of it…. 🙂

    • Well, that was not a picture that I wanted to imagine. I think I can even taste the sliminess of that worm wriggling around in there 🙁 Yuck! But back to what I’m really trying to say. That’s just terrible that the bank can’t have everyone follow through and make things perfect from start to finish. Like you’d have someone to confirm the issue, apologize for it, and make sure that you got the solution or were in the process of making it all work. On top of that, they would be the ones to help you from now on. Can you imagine how awesome it would have been to get that sort of help from a place like a bank? Now that would be pretty awesome 😀

    • Sounds like you had quite the trip there. From Virgin to ATMs you’ve gotten a crazy experience. I’m still amazed they managed to get 3 grand out of your card before you realized it happened. Crazy that they were able to get your card info without having your card. That’s Mexico for you though. Too bad that the service wasn’t top notch from top to bottom, would have been a nice little plug for the bank if they pulled that off. But there’s always that short link in the chain, am I right? It always happens when you work on a team. For me that’s me when I’m on a bad day, I’m not a happy camper and that shows.

    • The response to your predicament, in my opinion, exceeds what we would typically expect from a banking entity, yet fails to achieve the standards set by other businesses – say, a retail company like Zappos which goes above and beyond their scope of support to assist the customer. There is a lack of consistency with their customer service processes; while it is understandable that representative personalities will fluctuate, it should not have the appearance of night and day that you experienced over your call. However, it should be noted that banks typically do not send debit cards or other personal banking items overnight, much less across the world to a single customer. This sort of treatment is usually reserved for businesses and individuals who are large depositors. I cannot speak for your personal situation, but despite my consolidation of much of my financing and personal banking needs with a single bank, I am merely treated as a regular customer who is not given special treatment. This begs the question of if this is standard procedure for your bank to treat all their customers this way, or that you have preferential treatment. If it is the former, then the bank is outperforming its competitors in regards to customer treatment, but obviously a shortcoming in terms of the second advisor. The second option is much of the same – the second customer service representative should have known of your status and treated you with exceptional service as the first representative did. Supervisory procedures must be in place to address issues such as this, and I can only expect action to be taken against the second advisor. As the saying goes, one bad apple spoils the bunch.

    • So what exactly is the line between good and bad service for you? Does one person make or break the entire experience, or is there some give there? I mean, no tolerance seems like it’s tough to keep up when people are bound to make mistakes. What makes this situation so bad in the grand scheme of things?

      • I see that your questions have not been answered yet, so I will try to answer the questions with an unbiased opinion and probably how most people would respond to this situation. Hopefully Michael will be able to respond later on as well. The line between good and bad is wholly based on opinion, so I cannot speculate on what that line would be for Michael. However, I would say that most people would be more mindful to remember the bad events and those that are most recent in memory. Because of this, most people would disregard the good experiences and judge the entire event on whether or not they had a bad even occur. Yes, there is probably a little room for error, but that room for error is minimal compared to how much good would have to be done to negate the issue. For this situation, I would say that to follow up such a good experience with a bad one would override the fact that Michael was pleased with the first encounter. The bad experience is more recent and follows the good experience, and by ending on a negative note it sours the entire ordeal.

    • From my experience as a customer service and technical support representative for Apple, I would say that the customer service field as a whole is flawed in the sense that much of the experience is dictated by the representative handling the case. Personality, mood, and time of day play an overwhelming role in how a customer is treated; the customer typically is at the mercy of how the representative is feeling at the time of the call. With this case, a second representative seemed to be bringing down the overall experience, and I believe that this is where the flaw truly is. Having a new person answer the line each time a business is called creates a very impersonal experience; most people will not get the same representative twice. This leaves no room for the relationship to build, making it much more difficult to treat the customer in such a fashion that they are pleased with the experience. If there was a consistent representative for each customer or group of customers, then it would be much easier to understand the individual customer needs, note their specific viewpoints, and provide a positive customer experience overall. I am sorry that the situation ended the way it did for you, Michael, but in today’s society profits come before people.