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The one inbox to rule them all.

March 14, 2011

Simple, satisfying, efficient and quite charming.

It’s not an app.

It’s not the new iPad.

It’s the Citibank Internet banking in-box.

Recent encounters with financial institutions direct consumer engagement exercises have left such an unpleasant taste that I almost forgot that there is one bank where direct consumer engagement is actually rather pleasant.

 

Waive annual card subscription fee. Email. Done.

Have a query on an odd charge. Email. Done.

Waive 1-day late payment charge. Email. Done.

Remove from marketing lists. Email. Done.

No IVR system.

No muzak.

No need to spew your personal particulars.

No need to hold.

 

At last, there appears to be an organization that seems to understand that consumers engage with a brand on their own agenda i.e. own time and on their preferred platform.

In a time where customer interaction takes place along multiple channels (and that cannot be controlled by organizations), companies have no choice but to truly enable and empower these channels to engage with and solve customer problems, convert interactions into business opportunities and transform each encounter into a potential advocate point.

Technology stands ready to enable and empower these channels, the big question is, “Are companies ready?”

On a personal level, thank you Citibank. Your simple, efficient and charming Internet banking inbox has gone a long way in keeping me loyal and your credit card my only card of choice.

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