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'm an experience (XM) management catalyst; helping organizations improve results by engaging the hearts and minds of their employees, customers, and partners. I enjoy researching and speaking about leading-edge XM topics. I lead the Qualtrics XM Institute, which is the world's best job. We're igniting a global community of XM Professionals who are inspired and empowered to radically improve the human experience. To achieve this goal, my team focuses on thought leadership, training, and community building. My work is driven by a set of fundamental beliefs: 1) Everything starts and ends with human beings, so you need to understand how people think, feel, and behave; 2) XM is a discipline that needs to be woven throughout an organization's entire operating fabric; and 3) Building the XM discipline requires a combination of culture, competency, and technology.

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