NEW YORK (2/19/14)--Credit unions' commitment to member service was driven home by a phone call from a CEO to a member after the discovery of the Target data security breach.
The member happened to be a reporter for a financial trade publication and a customer of Bank of America. What he encountered was a personal and "ultimately more comforting" message than what he received from the bank.
In a first-person account Tuesday, American Banker reporter Andy Peters detailed what made the interaction with Atlanta-based BOND Community FCU so special. Ruth Artis, CEO of the $40 million-asset credit union, called him directly. She informed him that his debit card had been compromised in the Target data breach, and a replacement card would arrive in a couple of weeks.
Compare that to the automated voice mail left behind by Bank of America's card services subsidiary, after which Peters tried to follow up with the customer service line. The agent would only share that the card had been affected by fraud at an "undisclosed retailer" and did not give a time frame of when the fraud occurred.
The large bank lost an opportunity to gain a consumer's confidence, according to Shirley Inscoe, a senior analyst at Aite Group.
Poor communication about fraud hurts a financial institution's business, she said, adding that consumers will put replacement cards in the back of their wallets or even stop using them completely.
And Artis' personal phone calls to the credit union's members?
"I can't imagine that anything else would rank above that," Inscoe told Peters. "That has to be the ultimate in customer service."