My Swedish colleague and I experienced an unpleasant event last week.
His foreign credit card got sucked into the ATM machine at our office. He called the bank’s hotline, and they told him over the phone that it was impossible to retrieve the card, and that it would be destroyed immediately.
So, picture yourself in his shoes. You have traveled half way across the world. Now you are without your credit card and unable to withdraw cash to survive in (unforgiving) Kuala Lumpur.
I thought I would get a better response if I tried calling the hotline myself. Same answer: “No, you cannot get the card back”. Tough luck.
We decided to visit the nearest branch the following morning. This time we were greeted by the bank manager, whom upon hearing my colleague’s story, immediately said, “No”.
But this time around we had an avenue to explain the case, and persisted a little more. She made some calls while we sat in front of her. After waiting 15 minutes, she gave us the answer we were looking for: “Yes, you can get your card back within 2 working days”.
The bank arranged for the card to be returned to its branch in one piece. We got a call to collect the card within 2 hours, which was to our surprise.
Think about it.
It is easier to say no to you customers over virtual touch points: phone, email, web, etc.
But it is much harder to say no to your customers when they are in front of you. Emotions come into play.
Rules can be broken when you persist in person. But that just takes too much effort for customers. Brands that allow these rules to be broken (or bent) via virtual touch points could stand a greater chance of being loved.