Customer Experience - Building Trust Flow?
The Whetstone Group did a report "The Importance of Customer Experience in A Down Economy", (get report here) and the capstone comments is something that I can completely relate to, i.e.
“There is an alarming lack of alignment between customer emotional expectations and corporate action plans that can only result in frustration and growing distrust by customers.”
Yes, many customers are going to have a renewed and vigorous review of pricing, but there is another set that are going to need to feel a renewed sense of control in a very unsteady and fearful environment. There are many things to take from this report but some of my early take always are "what are you doing to be build trust with your customers?"; "what are you doing to actively listen for new issues, new fears appearing in the life of your customers?"; and "what are you doing to reduce the feelings of stress for your customers"? Emotionally rewarding outcomes are what will get you rewarded in the long term.
Santa - Line
Neat use of telecommunications: kids phone up Santa to tell him what they want, because often, they don't want to tell their parents what they really want. System emails parents (because you have to be a Vonage customer to use this), and parents retrieve the message. Besides, "what ever happened to privacy :)" a great example of totally taking home the booby prize. You could have opened the system to everybody and achieved one of your core marketing objectives: get a new user to trial Vonage and experience its benefits.
Banking on Y
Bruce Temkin on the other hand seems to have a fairly good grasp on what is required at the very minimum to compete in the provision of experience to Gen Y. He shows how a bank brought in IDEO to design a service that just spoke their language, and I have to admit, parts of this I found very cool. For instance showing me I have $200 in my account tells me nothing; telling me I have half my savings objective does; telling me I am at my lowest level of saving ever, does; telling me things in context, not just flat-footed numbers. I just soooo love the virtual wallet feature that redlines your Danger Days for you, yes, the days you are predicted to spend, or pay bills, and will have less money than you need to meet these demands. The bank will then allow you to transfer money from your Reserve Account to meet these, or move some of your bill payment dates :)
Oh, and how does the bank know how to do this? (Gee, they have huge complex automated giga-mega-load servers crunching away, right?), nope; they give you the saver a slider bar and let you divide your money pile up into Scheduled (for payments) Free (to spend), Reserve (for savings), and you can move that bar back and forth as YOU like. of Course if you go over, by miscalculating, and overspending, you may automatically be given an overdraft and incur some interest rates, but hey I'd rather the payment went out than damage my credit worthiness. Oh, and of course at the end of the month I can get a full report on where I spent my money.
All of these functionalities are easy, graphical, and no doubt "iPhone friendly". No min charges, no min amounts. Seems like Min fuss to me.