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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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