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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Customer Service and Customer Health: Is the Customer Always Right?

Happy New Year!

Lately I have been thinking about this question posed to me by a senior Customer Relationship executive at a major Asian bank.

"What do you do when a customer's complaint is unreasonable, I mean really unreasonable? You can't always say, the customer is always right."

Funnily enough, I found the way to resolve this dilemma is to inquire

What is the bank in business for?

Beyond just making money of course.

Because that doesn't get you that far, you make money by taking it from customers.

And they give it to you because they value something you are offering them in exchange. What is it that banks offer that is most valuable to their customers?

In the realm of services that banks provide, the most valuable to customers are those that support their financial well-being.

If we say that banks are in business to support the financial well-being of their customers : individual households or businesses, then service excellence can be measured in terms of how well banking services support customer's financial health.

So when complaints come, they can be resolved by the principle of financial health:

Does the service improve financial health or not?

When new services are considered they can be guided by this principle as well, so that customers don't feel that banks are only working to the bank's own interest.

The principle of financial health of customers provides a common goal for both customers and their banks.

And offers banks a great way to position their services to their customers through the various stages of development of their businesses and households.

Thought for 2006: The year for Servicing Customer Well-being

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