I recently opened a new credit card. The application and account opening experience set my expectations unrealistically high. Here’s what not to do with your customers.

I recently opened a new credit card. I had been on the hunt for a new card for a little while, ever since it was announced that my beloved Costco American Express card would be going away in the spring of 2016 in favor of Costco now choosing to partner with Citi Bank instead.

The Good
Long story short, after finding the a great deal on the right card, I applied online and was whisked through what I considered to be a fantastic application and cross-sell process – right at account opening!

I was so impressed! I could hardly wait to see what welcome messages and marketing would come my way now that I had been approved and my new credit card was on its way.

The Bad
And then…there was nothing.

Not a thing!

No welcome email. No direct mail with offers for other accounts. No other products were cross-sold. I felt like an outsider! How was it one of the largest financial institutions in the country was not on-boarding me in some way, shape or form? My feelings were starting to get hurt.

The Ugly
Finally my cards arrived in the mail, whereupon I promptly activated the card and prepared to spend, baby, spend!

“Here,” I thought, “is the perfect opportunity to make up for lost time. Surely, they will start marketing to me after the card has been activated and I start using it.”

And still…nothing.

I’m now seriously wondering what it takes to get noticed around here! (And that has nothing to do with everyone bypassing me in favor of coming over to see my 4-month old daughter.)

The User Experience
Taking a step back to analyze the entire experience that I have had with this credit card, I cannot help but feel a little sheepish at the expectations that I set for this experience based on the way the application and account opening process went.

The application and account opening was one of the cleanest, smoothest, most pleasurable user experiences I have had in awhile.

And I’m talking about doing something as mundane as entering in my personal information and opening up a financial account here!

What really gets me in the end, though, is that this financial now has an incredible amount of information on me. They gained my personal account information, pulled my credit…they know my financial ins and outs.

Yet, there seems to be somewhat of a breakdown somewhere in the system. With all of this valuable information, surely there is a computer somewhere that can crunch the numbers and pitch a new product or service to me that would make my financial life so much better!

The moral of the story here is this: we do so much to set high expectations for our customers and members when we close a sale on a new account or are welcoming them to our financial for the first time. We collect incredible amounts of sensitive, yet amazing, information.

Don’t let it go to waste.

Map out the user experience through the eyes of your customers. Make sure they feel like you’re paying attention to them. Use all of that information to your advantage!

And by the way, the process doesn’t end with 120 days of on-boarding. Expectations keep on going. Don’t let your customers down!


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