I rarely write about my own customer experiences. Usually I’m taking examples from others and blending with my observations to evidence best or worse practice CX planning.
But on occasion I experience a customer experience as a consequence of a situation I’ve found myself in which impresses me enough to tell others.
And when it works, really well, it reminds us of the importance customer experience in helping consumers trying to ‘get on’ and live their lives. Great customer experience removes the friction in life which holds us back from getting through the day.
As a ‘consumer’ I can’t really consciously value this until it goes wrong. CX in this context operates as the unsung hero. However, the more important that process to me within the context of my life, the increased favourability I undoubtedly have for one brand over another.
So when something unexpected happens in my life, a customer experience designed to remove the anxiety will go a long way in turning my passive relationship to a promoter of their brand. I might even commit the experience to a blog. Here’s my story…
…at 11.30am I stepped back from a presentation I was preparing and picked up a couple of approved invoices to pay. I looked for my ‘securekey’ which allows me to access the HSBC business bank account. It wasn’t where it normally should be. I knew I needed to call HSBC to get a replacement. I decided I could make the payments when it arrived.
I was working remotely from our Bishops Stortford office so called the London office and told them the situation. I was reminded that these were due today and one by midday. Panic back on. It was at this point I realise I should have paid them before I got stuck in to the presentation but it was too late and the presentation was due to be sent in two hours.
I headed to the local branch of HSBC. As I walked there I realised I didn’t know what it would achieve going in to see them, our branch was in Victoria, but with the minutes ticking I wanted to share my pain and see what could be done over the counter.
On arrival I was greeted with a smile by a greeter. I explained the situation and he calmly said it could be sorted. He told me to head to the teller to get the payments made first. I did. I explained my quandary to the lady behind the glass. With enough security checks to make me feel comfortable, but not so much that I felt violated, ‘we’ made the payments on time. I say we because without the HSBC team I would have failed.
The lady informed me that if I called the replacement securekey team from the branch they could issue me a new card now. Wow, so within 45 minutes of my crisis starting, it would be over.
The greeter dialled through the IVR and connected me to a person. Being a global bank I expected a globally located operator. I was right. But that didn’t diminish the empathy and understanding of my situation he offered.
To get through to the point where an email was sent to me and a new securecard handed to me in branch involved three phone transfers and the assistance of three members of branch staff. But each one of those phone transfers managed my expectations and when I was handed over the recipient of my call explained my situation to me straight off to give me confidence that they were in control.
I left the bank 20 minutes after arriving with payments made, a new securekey ready to activate, a smile on my face and a tweet winging its way to broadcast from @consultingchris on how great they’d been.
It then dawned on me that I’d had a branded customer experience. This was global, local in action. Okay I wasn’t trading with New Zealand or requiring advice on setting up a venture in Baltimore, but I was vulnerable and their global network of operators helped me out capably supported by the local team.
From a customer experience best practice perspective this delivers against all 6 customer attributes:
- They managed my expectations across every touch point
- They minimised the time and effort taken by employing various channels and technology to arrive at the right outcome
- They empathised with my situation and brought my anxiety down whilst we got things sorted
- They resolved my issues without any sense of it being less than why they were there
- They personalised it to me. It may be this happens on a daily basis for them but I felt they’d structured their customer experience response specifically around my situation
- They showed integrity putting my interests first. They could have been more stringent on security (more than needed) but a few smart questions ensured I was who I said I was and they let me use a branch in the middle of the phone even though they were hosting a MacMillan Nurses Cake morning .
Hats off to HSBC from me and our suppliers who got paid on time.
Not forgetting my client who received the presentation in time too. And that’s why all of the above was so important to me. It allowed me to ‘get on’ with my business.
Posted by Christopher Brooks
Lexden is a Customer Strategy Agency | We put customers at the heart of the decision
We work with brands to attract and retain happy customers | We achieve this by helping them to understand what makes their customers tick, building memorable customer experience strategies and creating engaging customer value propositions.
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