The Quest for Króna

Posted July 5 2017 in #PeopleFirst

300 Króna. That’s how much Adam needed before his trek to Iceland. And he needed it quick.

Fun facts: Króna, which means crown, is worth about 96 cents in the United States. It was first introduced in Iceland, replacing the earlier Danish currency in 1874.

These banknotes are quite beautiful, made in colors like orange, green, and turquoise, each sporting its own engraved portraiture of political and religious leaders, as well as artists and authors.

None of this was very helpful to Adam though, when he realized that his trip to Iceland was only a week away and he hadn’t thought to get some of the local currency.

“Naturally, local currency would be needed to buy exotic delicacies like Icelandic yogurt called Skyr, or “Ein með öllu,” an iconic Icelandic hot dog ‘with everything.’”

Adam, 23, planned this trip along with a classmate; a 10-day adventure where they could feast their eyes on the staggering beauty of Iceland in all its splendor. Naturally, some funds would be needed to buy exotic delicacies like the Icelandic yogurt called Skyr, or “Ein með öllu,” an iconic Icelandic hot dog ‘with everything.’

So Adam contacted Choice Financial in his hometown of Belfield, asking to do a currency exchange.. Kristi Tessier, Frontline Specialist, took the call..“We were more panicked than he was,” Kristi laughed. “Because we knew how tight the timeline was!”

Kristi’s first move was to call the Dickinson location, who then connected her to Bank of North Dakota, who then delivered some rather unfortunate news.

“We were more panicked than he was,” Kristi laughed. “Because we knew how tight the timeline was!”

They told her that there was a $25 fee for transferring foreign currency, but that, given the limited time frame, they could not guarantee the funds would get to Adam before he left the country.

Kristi was hesitant to charge Adam the transaction fee when the chances were good that he wouldn’t get the money in time.

She pressed the Bank of North Dakota clerk. “What are the other options?”

“Well, you can also pick up foreign currency at the airport in Minneapolis,” they said. “There are two exchange ports there.”

Boom. Kristi was on it.

She found a map of the airport terminal online, and tracked down the currency exchange locations. But she didn’t stop there! She then called the Minneapolis airport to confirm the details, so she wouldn’t lead her customer on a wild goose chase. They verified that Adam could exchange his US currency for the Icelandic króna he needed before jumping on the plane. He could even call and reserve the money in advance!

The next day, Adam visited the bank, and Kristi was ready. She handed him all the information she had gathered; a map of the Minneapolis airport, with the exchange ports highlighted and circled, along with phone numbers for the exchange port agents. Just in case.

“This is a great illustration of Choice’s core value to ‘Commit to the customer and give them undivided attention,’” Patty said.

“Wow… thank you!” Adam said.

Patty Hutzenbiler had watched the situation unfold, and was impressed by Kristi’s extra efforts. She, too, had felt panicked when she first Adam’s request.

“I knew it was going to be borderline if we got it or not,” she said. “But Kristi took it upon herself  to look up the airport, get the number, find out where the ports are… I thought it was awful kind of her to do that for Adam.”

This is  a great illustration of Choice’s core value to “Commit to the customer and give them undivided attention,” Patty said.

They heard back later that Adam successfully picked up the currency at the port. The Quest for Króna was a success.

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