It’s rare to have an enjoyable experience with customer service, especially when it is tied to something as emotional as personal finances.
This week, I had a pleasant surprise with Simple’s customer service, widely acknowledged for having a customer experience that is so human it’s innovative.
Here’s what happened:
My bike waits for me as I work from a coffee shop in Bandon, OR
I’m on a three-week trip riding my bicycle south along the west coast to FinovateSpring next week. I’ve been working largely from public wifi hotspots at coffee shops and libraries, so I’ve been very wary of the security of my financial information.
I’ve paid for most expenses using my Simple card. When I checked my account last week (under a private wifi network, of course!), here’s what I saw:
For a person who lives on the west coast and has been making purchases only while traveling down the Oregon coast, the map of my transactions looks as it should– except for one outlier. Florida!?
Upon discovering this inconsistency, I blocked the card to prevent any more unauthorized transactions. Simple is one of the pioneers of this feature.
Then, I immediately contacted Simple’s support via chat. Here’s the conversation:
Hello, I think there’s a fraudulent charge on my account from a merchant in Florida called CtVcom.
Do you have any more information on them? The time and place of the transaction doesn’t seem quite right. Thanks.
This is actually an ATM withdrawal from an ATM in Bellingham, WA–does that sound more familiar?
We run our transaction data through a series of calculations in order to provide you with a clean merchant description. We’re typically pretty accurate, but it looks like we didn’t get this one right. I have no idea why it’s showing up as Florida when it was actually in Washington!
If you are ever curious about the details of a transaction, we list the original merchant data in your activity on Simple.com. To view it, select the transaction and click the ‘Edit’ button. The original merchant name will be listed below the modified version.
Let me know if this sounds more familiar, and give a shout if there’s anything else I can help you with!
Ah-ha! Thanks for the quick reply…
Yes. An ATM withdraw in the town where I live sounds quite right.
No problem, Julie! Glad we were able to get this cleared up!
I just wanted to let you know that your card is still blocked as well. If this was the reason you blocked it, you can feel free to unblock it since it didn’t end up being fraudulent. 🙂
What was done correctly?
- I received a quick reply
- The customer service rep (CSR) let me know the back story of how the mistake came about. By being transparent, Simple eased any fears I had of data-sharing, privacy breaches, or major problems with its back-end system.
- The CSR gave me instructions on how to figure out merchant information on my own. Empowering the customer with this knowledge has the potential to prevent future calls or chat sessions with CSRs.
Many banks fall short in customer service since the personal touch is difficult to scale.
While most customers appreciate being spoken to in a more informal manner, CSRs still need to make sure they remain compliant and don’t trigger any liabilities by slipping up. But there is a customer satisfaction payback
to replacing industry jargon with easy-to-understand language, patience, and a smile.
Simple was acquired by BBVA in February. The bank has vowed to leave the Simple team in place. We hope that’s true.
To see Simple’s platform in action, check out its demo from FinovateFall 2011.