Friday, October 21, 2016

Regaining the Customer's Trust

Imagine being a marketer for Wells Fargo Bank right now, following high-profile revelations that for some time, employees opened accounts to achieve internal goals for cross-selling, not because customers wanted them.

The scandal has had a real impact on the bank's reputation and its business: It recently announced that new checking account openings are down by 25% compared with last year and new credit card applications are down by 20%, all since the news broke.

During mid-October, Wells Fargo placed full-page ads in the New York Times and other newspapers, and posted on part of its website with the headline: "Moving forward to make things right." The message ends with these words:
The trust you place in us means everything and we will work hard every day to earn it back.
Trust can take a long time to earn and be lost in a moment. Before this, Wells Fargo's scores among banks in the American Customer Satisfaction Index had been on the upswing, far better than the scores it had in the ACSI surveys of 1996 and 1997.

Now Wells Fargo faces the challenge of earning back customers' trust and convincing them that it will, as its ads say, put their interests first. How will customers respond?

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