How I didn’t buy my lounge access credit card

It had been a lazy Sunday as usual. Late breakfast, a movie after that and a good long nap after lunch.

In the evening, as I was sipping on my tea, I was browsing through my bank’s website to look for a credit card that offers lounge access at international airports. Being a frequent traveler, getting this card was important for me. I was growing increasingly tired of the long waits sitting on uncomfortable chairs at airports. I spent about 10-15 minutes on the website and figured that a particular premium credit card offered ‘international lounge access’. It had some other benefits too and came with an annual fee.

The kids kept calling me and I said ‘just coming’. And then I heard my wife’s voice ‘honey, we need to go grocery shopping’. When the wife calls, you heed. I closed my laptop and left without looking back.

A week later…

While in transit at Kuala Lumpur airport, I had to wait 40 minutes for my flight and I didn’t have access to the airport lounge. I forgot about the card. Ahh…

As an individual at the airport I obviously wasn’t happy with myself for not having purchased the card. As a customer, I was certainly not happy with the bank. I had spent a good 15 minutes on their website researching a specific product. Doesn’t that show intent? Don’t they analyze what users do on their websites? Shouldn’t they have reached out to me at some point in this past one week reminding me to buy the card?

The inherent marketer couldn’t help but wondering about the possible actions the bank could have taken to prompt me to buy the card I was looking for. And I had time too… 40 minutes.

1. Engage me on the internet

While I was browsing one of the many websites (sports, news, ecommerce, etc.) that I did over the week a personalized ad of the card with its key features in at least one of those website would have helped. I would have clicked on it and gone on to buy the card for sure.

2. Remind me on the bank’s website itself

I did login to the bank’s website at least two more times in the past week to transfer money and pay some bill. A customized Home page message with information on the card or a banner on the Logout page would have been great. Log out page would have definitely done the trick. Or even a pop up may be?

3. Send me an email

An email with the name of the card in the subject line would have certainly gotten my attention. I received a few emails from the bank over the past week about various offers but none reminded me about this card. Why not?

  4. Call from a Relationship Manager

A call from an executive would have been good too. ‘Sir, you had looked for an international lounge access premium card. Would you still be interested in buying the card? I will be glad to help you’ – that’s all it would have taken. Not intruding at all.

5. Engagement via Banking app

I am an active user of the bank’s app too. I use it at least once a week. A customized push notification with a reminder about the card would have been perfect.

I am sure there are other customers who leave behind a data trail pointing to their ‘buying intent’ and a gentle reminder from the bank through any of the aforementioned channels doesn’t harm at all. It’s a win-win for the bank and the customer.

To sum up the point of all this, I need to put on my digital solutions expert hat. Here it goes –

Banks need to do this to increase the digital share of their business – identify existing customers among the pool of website visitors and personalize engagement across digital touchpoints.

Question is – is it possible? Of course it is.

Meanwhile, I have no option but to sit on these metal chairs for another 40 minutes until it’s time for me to board my flight. A good strong coffee will be nice.

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