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Ally Bank Gives a Valuable Lesson on Customer Experience

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The Ally Bank has proved to their customers that they are truly an ally to their customers, it is more than just a name. The bank announced that it was immediately eliminating all overdraft fees on its accounts, which ends old banking practice that has caused the industry to have an increase in revenue, but also raised the anger of consumer advocates and regulators.

Overdraft fees are fines banks charge to a customer when they have insufficient funds in their account to cover a withdrawal or payment. Generally, the fee charged would be $35 per overdraft which could result in a customer getting charged over $100 fees per day if there are multiple transactions that cannot be processed due to insufficient funds.

Unlike the other banks, Ally never seek to maximize overdraft fees through creative transaction ordering. Ally has strictly been running on a policy of charging a maximum of one overdraft fee per day for each account where if the fees are charged, it is done in a customer-friendly manner.

One of Ally’s latest strategies is grounded in a steady commitment to customer advocacy. It is a principle that can generate customer loyalty for any businesses. After all, it is very rare that people see a business prioritizing the customer’s interests over the company’s interests. So when it happens, it leaves a positive impression which drives repurchase and drives them to recommend the brand or company to the people they know.  

To begin the practice of customer advocacy in our business, we can consider the three steps:

·      Reflect on common customer frustrations – We must think about the things customers find annoying or frustrating that are associated with our industry. The things that might exploit customers that would seem to prioritize the business more than it prioritize customers are one of the likely targets for customer experience innovations.

·      Be bold and break the tradition – Creating disruption through customer advocacy most often requires breaking apart from the old tradition and culture and experiment with new approaches and strategy.

·      Turn pain points into proof points – A business strategy which revolves around customer advocacy must be more than just a good annual report copy. We should take the necessary actions to turn the customers pain points and frustration into proof that we actually prioritize and their experience matters.

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