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Getting to 'Wow' With Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo's CMO recently discussed the culture of customer experience at the bank.

While the banking industry faces some challenges in achieving the level of customer satisfaction that some other verticals already enjoy, the task is not impossible and requires an enterprise-wide commitment.

These were the words of Wells Fargo Chief Marketing Officer Jamie Moldafsky, who spoke this week at the Forrester Customer Experience Forum about how the bank tries to achieve the "wow" factor in customer experience.

Moldafsky admitted that "the banking industry and smiles aren’t always synonymous with each other right now, and getting that smile is challenging because we interact with the customer through so many different means."

She said the struggle for banks is to have the same brand perception whether it be through the ATM, mobile, online, call center or branch channel. "Customer experience is shaped in an increasingly complex world," she added.

[See Also: Banks Can't Price Their Way Out of Bad Customer Experience]

At Wells Fargo, she said there are additional complexities due to being such a large bank. She said the bank has roughly 70 million customers -- 20 million of whom are online regularly -- 90 different lines of business, 270,000 team members, and processes 5.5 billion transactions per year. "Every hour, thats about 10,000 opportunities to create a smile," she added.

The key to getting that smile, Moldafsky said, is understanding the customer journey, end-to-end, across all life cycles. Achieving that involves extensive customer research using data analytics, and one way Wells Fargo uses data and technology to accomplish this is by sending customers who use an ATM or log into online banking on their birthday a congratulatory message. "The research we've done says the customer really loves this," she said.

Moldafsky also advised banks to be "human and genuine," and cited Wells Fargo's campaign where customers could donate to Superstorm Sandy relief via the ATM as one example of this.

Further, she said banks should "apologize when they make mistakes." For example, Wells Fargo processes a large amount of mortgage loans and refinances, and recently realized that many of those were taking longer than normal to process, she said. The bank sent Omaha Steak gift certificates to those customers whose loan applications were taking particularly long, with a note of apology.

Moldafsky also stressed the importance of a company-wide commitment to good customer service.

"We tell all of our team members they either serve the customer or support someone who serves the customer," she said. "Everyone has a role."

Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as a municipal and courts reporter for daily newspapers in upstate New York, Bryan has ... View Full Bio

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User Rank: Apprentice
7/1/2013 | 9:02:32 PM
re: Getting to 'Wow' With Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo is certainly doing a better job engaging with customers. Just a few short years ago, WF's user experience felt old, out of date and slow. In the past couple of years, WF has made some great strides: mobile apps, online, branch and ATM.
User Rank: Author
6/28/2013 | 12:42:35 PM
re: Getting to 'Wow' With Wells Fargo
It sounds as if you are being admonished to provide a better customer experience but that you perceive the company making these demands may be failing to provide you with the very tools that you need to make the customer experience improvements that you would like to. While things like up-to-date equipment and certainly standing behind products sold do go a long way in providing a consistent customer experience, banks and retailers alike depend largely on the people they employ to fill in the gaps with actual human interactions. Focusing on every interaction that you have with a customer, from the moment he walks in the door to the moment he walks out with a purchase or even back in with a return, can create the same smiles that Wells Fargo and other banks are seeking to incite with the WOW experience. Shopping habits can be determined as much by the service as the goods, so try not to get discouraged by demands that you feel now that you can't meet and instead set a personal challenge to create a WOW experience for your customers despite the lack in resources, and your efforts will be rewarded in future career opportunities at this retailer or elsewhere. Supervisors and corporate leaders know what their strengths and weaknesses are and have likely taken these into consideration when setting the goals they have for their staff.
User Rank: Moderator
6/28/2013 | 2:13:41 AM
re: Getting to 'Wow' With Wells Fargo
I work part time in a national department store chain, which also tells its employees that it wants customers to have a wow experience. Let's see - broken or worn out POS equipment, advertised sale items often out of stock, bringin in winter products starting with the first day of summer, and summer items in early January. Oh, and warranties that don't protect the buyer, poorly defined return policies and far more WOW items!
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