Thursday, March 12, 2009

Ameriprise -- the trilogy is complete!

as promised, here is the update on the Ameriprise saga:

so the very nice and highly competent customer service person returns my call and we walk through the process of getting accounts set up on their website. i can't log in because i've forgotten my stupid username and password. i'm thinking i should probably just use "stupid" as a username and whatever the numbers are for "stupid" as a password, and then i'd have no trouble remembering them.

anyway, rather than transferring me to some call center in a basement in minneapolis or mumbai, she puts me on hold for a very short interval, and comes back on the line with an IT person who gets the UI/PW situation resolved in the nanosecond it requires to hit a key (which should also be marked "stupid" on her keyboard, so people like me can be more expeditiously handled). then, in a curious display of IT-hijinks, the card account which has been the subject of so much consternation and blogging is all of a sudden resting comfortably on the page, minding its own business, and looking like it's been there all along. i know this isn't the case, and tell them so, and they calmly agree with me even though i can tell by their voices that they think i'm crazy.

i don't care, though, because i am the customer and i have been helped!!! it's silly to think that customer service problems are good for brands, but i will say that sometimes solving a problem gives a brand an added boost it wouldn't have gotten if it had simply performed acceptably well all along. and now, i'm going to tell my 4 followers and anybody else who's seeing this post (given the Ameriprise experience, i now make room for that possibility) about how great Ameriprise is, when i might not have gone out of my way to do that otherwise, because these kinds of great brand UX experiences are, in truth, pretty rare and when people like me find them we tend to talk about them.

i'm sure that Ameriprise, given a normal market, would rather have their clients recommending them for other reasons (e.g., growth, stability, investment performance, etc.) -- and who wouldn't agree that "they made me a ton of money!" sounds a bit more compelling than "they solved my card website problem!" -- but it's a crazy world out there and beggars can't be choosers. small brand victories in the short term can help win the war in the long run.

Ameriprise, thanks for restoring my faith in your brand. we're gonna know each other for a long time.

1 comment:

Erin Brandt said...

I will do my part and tell at least 3 people about Ameriprise! Who else is in?

Post a Comment