My sympathies go out to Elana at Forrester who had her wallet stolen recently. She recounts her experience on her blog.
Her prescriptions to financial services firms are right on. Here’s what I’d add:
Financial services firms must identify the moments of truth.”
Customer loyalty to financial firms is driven by the stories customers tell themselves (not just the “authentic” stories marketers tell customers). These stories are born out of the high-emotion interactions that customers have with their financial providers — what McKinsey refers to as “moments of truth.”
What the firms Elana dealt with failed to recognize was that reporting a lost or stolen card is a highly emotional situation. One that warrants special treatment.
If any of them had immediately put her through to a human who said “I will personally handle your situation, and help you through this”, she would have glowed about its service. She’d believe that that firm was truly different. Most importantly, it would become a “story a loyal customer tells”.
But none of the firms did this. They didn’t recognize a moment of truth.
Identifying the moments of truth isn’t rocket science. Market research can help you determine which interactions have a higher emotional impact than others. Simple common sense can help, too. Which is probably why Elana said that becoming customer-centric isn’t THAT hard.
Update: For further discussion on this, see this post on Analytical Engine.