What does it feel like to have a credit card missing? Not good. It happened to my father last week. This situation induces a bit of fear and trepidation about the process a person will have to go through to order a replacement card and how long it will take to receive the new card.

When my father paid for lunch one day last week, his credit card came up missing. He didn’t have it; the restaurant staff couldn’t find it. Darn.

When we got home at 1:15 p.m., I logged on to the Citibank website to report the card missing and to order a replacement. What was revealed to me was a fantastic, well-designed process. I called the restaurant one last time to ensure they had not found the card. They had not. Onward.

The first selection that I was presented with was the opportunity to “freeze” the card from being used while we continued to look for it. This would have been really handy if I thought we might find it.

We proceeded to cancel the card and order a replacement. We were offered a choice between 1-2 day delivery or 5-7 day delivery; both options with no surcharge. We chose the former.

We were asked to look at the last 5 transactions which they presented on the same screen to see if any looked fraudulent. Had any transactions been fraudulent, we would have merely needed to check a box next the transaction and Citibank would taken it from there.

As soon as I finished the process, a waitress from the restaurant called to say the card had been found underneath a table considerable distance from where we had eaten. I thanked them but told them it was too late–the card had already been cancelled.

At 11 a.m. the next day, FedEx dropped off the replacement credit card. We immediately called to activate it.

Citibank has taken something that could be a source of irritation and turned it into a source of customer delight. What a fantastic customer experience they have created.

Are your processes this seamless? Or, are your processes a source of friction for customers? Have you looked at your processes from the customer’s perspective as Citibank has?

Thought for the week:

“Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.” – Samuel Johnson

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What do you think? I welcome your comments! Dave Gardner
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Dave Gardner

Dave Gardner is a management consultant, speaker, blogger and author based in Silicon Valley. He's been in the front row for the birth and evolution of Silicon Valley, the innovation capital of the world. Since 1992, Dave Gardner has focused on making the complex simple around people, process and technology. He can be reached through his website, www.DaveGardner.biz, or via phone at +1 408-475-7068.

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