Jim S Miller

Thoughts on the Client Experience and Banking

Do your processes drive a great customer experience?

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Leo, the MGM lion bravely guards the entrance ...

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Almost every company talks about the importance of the customer experience, but many are defeated by some of their basic business processes.  As an example, last week I stayed at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas for the BAI Retail Delivery Conference.  My stay was fine and when it came to check out, my options were to either go to the front desk and wait in line or use the Express Checkout.  Obviously Express Checkout is the way to go.  There was an Express Checkout option on the TV, but after navigating through the options a message came up saying that Express Checkout by TV was not currently available.  Fortunatley there was an Express Checkout form in the room.  Unlike many hotels, they do not slide a copy of your bill under the door, but the checkout form said you can go to MGMGrand.com and get a copy of the bill.  Sounds great, so I dropped the checkout form in the box by the elevators and was on my way.  Today I went to their website to retrieve by bill, entered some information about my stay and then received a message that they would email a copy of my bill in 2-3 days.  I was expecting that it would show up on the website and I could print it immediately, not have to wait 3 days (I would like to get my expense report turned in as soon as possible).  If I had known this I would have waited in line to get my bill when I checked out.  Their process has managed to take the “express” out of Express Checkout.  While my stay was fine, my last impression of MGM Grand is one of annoyance, just because they have built a process that works for them more than it works for their customers.  They are obviously not making their recent customers a priority since they are giving themselves 3 days to email me a copy of my bill.

Have you thought through your processes from your customer’s perspective?  Have you defined what your customers first and last impressions of their interactions with your company should be, or do you leave them up to chance?

Here is an interesting video from Seth Godin.  Is your business process broken?  Is it customer friendly?  Is it good business?  Some of Seth’s examples are a little extreme, but this is something we should all think about.  Too often we make our customers use a broken process because it is not someone’s job to fix it.  We get so used to working around the problem that we forget it can be fixed.  Even worse our the processes that are built to be customer unfriendly.  Take rebates or gift card, for example.  These are intentionally designed to be difficult for the customer to follow the process correctly.  Companies count on customers not filling out the rebate forms, or not filling them out correctly.  Gift cards expire or lose value each month.  Sometimes the two are combined.  Last year I bought software that had a $30 rebate.  The rebate came in the form of a gift card.  By the time I used the card it had lost most of its value.  Rather than develop a long-term relationship, they are telling me that they value short-term profits more than my business.  This year I’ll make a different decision on who to give my business to.

The best companies build processes with their customer in mind.    How are your processes designed?

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Written by Jim S Miller

October 25, 2010 at 1:40 pm

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