Citigroup Splits Out Credit Cards; Now Get To Work

There’s a story on the wires today that Citigroup is splitting off its credit card business. If that’s the case, here’s some advice for Steven Freiberg (who will likely run the newly independent business) that is very similar to advice that I gave to Vikram Pandit, Citi’s CEO: Fix Citi’s customer experience problem. Why? Because it’s good business.

To start with, I just published a report that examines the linkage between customer experience and loyalty. It turns out that there’s a strong connection in credit cards. Consumers are much more likely to buy another product from a credit card issuer and be more reluctant to switch from that issuer if the firm delivers a good experience.

Our research also shows that credit card experiences, especially at Citi, are broken:

In a research report that just went live late last week, Customer Relationship Snapshot: Credit Card Providers, I looked at credit card relationships across generations of consumers. It turns out that credit card firms have the biggest problem with consumers younger than 40; so that’s probably a good place for Freiberg to focus Citi’s attention.

The bottom line: Splitting the business is an opportunity; hopefully Citi’s credit card business is up to the challenge.

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I am an experience management transformist, helping organizations improve business results by engaging the hearts and minds of their customers, employees, and partners. My "job" is Head of the Qualtrics XM Institute. The Institute is still being established, but our goal is to help organizations around the world thrive by mastering Experience Management (XM). As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. Prior to joining Qualtrics, I was managing partner of Temkin Group (leading CX research, advisory, and training firm), co-founder and chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (, and a VP at Forrester Research. I'm a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Check out my LinkedIn profile:

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