Organizations that are truly yearning to stay ahead of the curve have come to understand that customer experience (CX) is the ultimate winner in their quest to remain at the top. They have made client centricity a key aspect in their strategy execution. It is still interesting that some organisations are drastically lagging behind with a client being seen as a source of inconvenience. The C-level executives have attempted to address this even in the boardroom. If they have no solid plans of how to address this, it becomes part of the organisation’s culture.
Every year, customer satisfaction surveys are carried out and the results do not show any improvement. Lessons are not learnt, previous and current experiences are not used to shape the course of the future. Imagine a monopoly where you can’t even terminate a relationship and start a new one with a different service provider! You simply have no choice but to bear the brunt.
Albert Einstein once wrote, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.” In the same way, if one keeps working on perfecting one’s art, one ultimately becomes a master of it. There has to be an effort from the ground up or vice versa to address strategy frustrators such as negative customer experience with the same energy as dealing with other objectives such as sales or compliance and regulatory requirements.
Speaking of masters, the hospitality industry stands out and is so crystal clear that nothing is ever taken for granted. Everything in this industry is dedicated to making the customer happy as a common denominator, be it a flight attendant, a waiter, a game ranger, a chef, a housekeeper, a groundsman or hotel managers. They all have mastered the art of hosting and creating great memories for the guest. This has even become an industry standard and even slight deviations are not allowed. For private bankers, a lot could be learnt from this industry. Here are some of the aspects that could be borrowed from the hospitality industry.
Guestology reigns supreme.
This is a term originated by Bruce Laval of Walt Disney. It simply means that all the organisation’s employees must treat customers as guests and manage the organisation from a guest point of view. God willing, someday I will witness the magic of Disneyland but those who have been there will tell you that indeed it is a special place. We also do not have to look far to experience this.
Generally, the hospitality industry has mastered the art of wowing guests. You will truly feel like a guest and not a “client.” In Setswana we say, “Moeng goroga dijo di bonale.” I don’t have a translation for this but when I was growing up in my household, I knew that whenever we had a visitor, the meals served would be different. My mother would take out special cutlery reserved especially for visitors and new blankets would emerge out of nowhere to make the visitor feel at home. Everything is about the guest.
I recently went on a short trip to recharge. Before we embarked on a game drive, the game ranger excitedly asked us what we would like to see. We gave him our wish list and it became his objective for the day. It was certainly not an easy feat but still he delivered. Infact, he over-delivered because his tone was initially not convincing but under-promising.
Promises are kept.
Pardon me, my friend the game ranger will feature again. By the way, his name is BK, just BK for now, I will tell you more great things about this gentleman some day. On the night of our arrival, BK noticed that we were tired from the long drive and he offered to wake us up in the morning. Although a bit hesitant as I rely on my alarm, an agreement to wake us up at exactly 5 in the morning was made. At exactly 5 am, the man is knocking on the door. Promise kept!
Unfortunately, some promises are taken for granted by private bankers. Activities promised do not come to fruition, and this certainly erodes the trust that a client may have had on the banker and the relationship is weakened. This should be avoided.
Collaboration and communication.
Banking is certainly not a solo effort. There are many internal linkages and sometimes even external support at play to deliver a product or a service. Something could go wrong somewhere and the critical aspect is how one recovers. How does one communicate with the customer? Can an alternative be made available to make up for the lost opportunity? Communication is a basic commodity and even over-elaborated. With surgical precision, all that matters to the guest is pointed out and it is ensured that nothing gets missed.
Next time I get an opportunity to find a rare and passionate gem in private banking, the on-boarding and training will definitely be different. Before we knuckle down and baptise with banking terminology, products, services and systems, a field trip somewhere in one of the country’s best tourist attractions has to be a part of the training. It is important to experience the feeling of being a guest 1st hand and making that a Private bankers DNA keeps the Private Banking brand at the top.
Let me hear thoughts ;
LinkedIn: Gomolemo Kololo Manake
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