This morning I presented at Digital Insight’s user conference in San Diego. After I discussed why customer experience is important for banks (especially small and mid-sized banks) and explained how to apply the principles of Experience-Based Differentiation (EBD), Doug Zernow told the story about Northwestern Bank.
It turns out that everyone in the bank wears a button that says “I can do that!” But it’s not a slogan, it’s the essence of the bank; they’ve infused a sense of ownership and accountability to customers in everything that they do.
Doug described the four values that underlie “I can do that!:”
- Customer focus (the customer is the boss)
- It’s about “I/we” not them (keep silos from getting in the way)
- Energy givers, not energy takers (engaged employees)
- Minimal policies and rules (employees are empowered to waive fees, negotiate rates, and spend money to make the customers happy)
What has “I can do that!” meant for Northwestern Bank?
Growth! When the bank started the program in 2002, it had 7.2% market share in its geographic footprint. Since then, it’s market share has grown steadily — hitting nearly 13% in 2008. During that time it has also grown larger than three of its main competitors in the region: Citizens, Huntington, and BankOne.
My take: Northwestern Bank’s “I can do that!” program is a great example of EBD’s Principle #2: Reinforce the brand with every interaction.
The bottom line: Make your customers smile.