If you’d like to see more of Joanna Brandi’s blogs, visit JoAnna Brandi’s Blogs. You can also find out more by visiting her Customer Care Coach website. Joanna Brandi will be a keynote speaker at this year’s North American Conference on Customer Management, and has already been profiled on our Customer 1st blog. Stay tuned for her posts on the Customers 1st blog!
I had to call the bank the other day and ask the embarrassing question, ‘What’s my favorite book’? The woman on the other end of the line didn’t understand, she said ‘Excuse me’? ‘My favorite book, I need to know what it is’ ah, was ‘ I said. ‘Apparently the favorite book I had when I used that clue as my security question is not the same book that I think is my favorite this week.’ ‘Oh!’ she laughed. ‘I get it. The answer to your security question doesn’t match.’ ‘Right,’ I said, ‘but I really need to know what I thought my favorite book was because I tried all three I think are my favorites and none of them work, and now I’m really confused.’ ‘Oh!’ she replied, using a tone of voice that made me think she really understood why this was a problem for me. One thing I routinely find about the people in the call center of Commerce Bank is they seem to ‘get’ me. No easy task. I resisted the urge to share with her what my top three favorites were and hope that she could find a match because she told me that as much as she’d like to help me solve the dilemma, the answer was controlled electronically and was pretty much lost forever. Would I like to choose a different question? Okay. And so it was I chose a different question and said ‘Thank you for your help, I appreciate it.’ ‘Would you like me stay on the line with you until you have your security questions changed’? ‘No’ my ego said, I’m a grownup and can do this myself. But she was quick to say kindly, ‘Why don’t you just keep me on the line until you are sure you have it, and know it so the next time you need to use it it will work for you.’ Ahh, I thought ‘proactive’ okay, let her just do her job. I’m sure I can get this right. Well low and behold I forgot to put a period after an abbreviation in the answer and (just as she thought would happen) the new security question didn’t get me in. Ahh, I thought now ‘ she really knows her job, and her customers well. We had a good laugh together and after she was sure I had picked an answer I couldn’t forget or misspell she let me off the line. Now you know and I know that it is probably cheaper for the company to do it that way, because it takes less time to make sure I do it right than to initiate another call when I do it wrong again ‘ but that’s not what it felt like. It felt like someone who knew the ropes was getting me used to them, and doing it with TLC (tender loving care) and not TVC (thinly veiled contempt) which tends to be so rampant in some of the ‘helping’ professions. Bravo Commerce ‘ I hope your merger doesn’t interfere with your customer care, because so far, I like it.