Alienation of Customer Affection


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Initially I was going to title this post “Discover Card Delivers on Their Promise and Stuns Retail Associate – News at 11,” but I realized that what we are really talking about is the alienation of our affections as customers. There is one basic truth that seems to have been lost: “Everyone wants to feel important.” What some companies need to remember is just because they feel like they have you locked-in (held hostage), doesn’t mean it will always be that way or that you won’t influence potential new customers to run while they can.

Since we have heard so many stories painting credit card companies as the big bad wolf, I wanted to share a recent customer service experience and sing the praises of a credit card company loud and proud. You heard me.

I was at a major department store earlier this month to purchase appliances. It was going to be a sizable purchase, but I checked my available credit line and was ready to go. For those who have not purchased multiple appliances at the same time, I need to explain something. At least at this department store, each appliance was rung up separately as each may have different availability and a different installation team (installers specialize apparently).

Well, as we began to ring up the purchases which have many lines with required parts, delivery charges, haul away, discounts etc., inevitably things can be missed. Hey these things happen. So we voided a purchase in order to make an adjustment then rang up the purchase again. With the number of appliances and special instructions, it happened one more time. Again, it was not an issue at all. The associate was giving us great service as he had in the past (always best to make corrections and cover the bases before a small error becomes a customer problem). As we attempted to charge the next time, a fraud alert appeared requiring a call to Discover Card. The associate asked if I would mind calling Discover Card and immediately provided the desk phone next to his register.

Here is where the Customer Experience is taken up a notch from good to great. Before I could even dial the 800 number, my cell phone rang. It was Discover Card. From the time the associated pushed the enter key on the register to the cell phone call it was literally under 2 minutes. As I answer my phone with a smile on my face, the store associate look at me in awe as I said “Hi Discover Card!” The associate, Mike, could not believe it. He said to my husband and I that he had NEVER seen such amazing service. I have to admit, I have a lot of confidence in Discover Card, but the speed with which they contacted me was shocking in the best possible way.

Please join me in a moment of silence in praise of great customer service. A company’s brand is not defined by what they say in marketing campaigns, but by their actions. Discover Card confirmed that my trust and loyalty were well placed.

What companies have done the same for you?

Cindy Campbell
Independent Consultant
For over 15 years, Cindy Campbell has counseled companies and provided comprehensive business strategies to overcome business challenges. As an independent consultant, Cindy has provided leading-edge customer-centric solutions to organizations from start-ups to blue chip companies.


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