Guest post by Sahana Jayaraman
From: Holly Green
Last night my buzzer rang and from the lobby I heard a voice, “Sahana, you have a floral delivery.” I paused for a minute, thought about the date… “No, it isn’t a special occasion, isn’t my birthday…”
I ran downstairs to see what this was all about. The delivery man handed me a beautiful pot with a vibrant green plant assortment. I opened the card and it read “Please, do not allow your recent experience to color your perception of American Express. We appreciate your loyalty and value your membership. ” It was a housewarming gift from AMEX.
About two months ago during my move to San Francisco I was faced with a nightmare relocation company that held my goods for weeks past my promised delivery date, and worst they had zero customer service. During my battle with them I had tried to get my initial $680 deposit credited since they failed to provide the services they said they would. American Express acknowledged my concerns, withheld the amount and went to bat for me to dispute the fairness of the charge. About a month later AMEX called me and said that they weren’t able to dispute the claim with the vendor and that they unfortunately had to drop the case.
The customer service representative, Holly Green, apologized for the inconvenience caused by the relocation company. She said that American Express would like to reimburse me $50 to my account. That in itself was such a nice offer. I would never have expected flowers on top of that.
This gesture struck a chord with me. In a time when companies have been hit hard, forced to cut back on expendable budgets, whether it be for holiday gifts, corporate incentives or other over-head costs, it spoke volumes that American Express would still continue to provide such exceptional customer service. Note to companies out there – now is the time to really analyze the ROI on each of your spends.
Not only is it a brilliant customer service strategy, but it directly speaks to what we have been telling many of our clients in this economy. To continue “business as usual” and about “staying connected” with clients/customers and key stakeholders through these times. It really humanizes the brand and generates loyalty. In fact, American Express already has one new customer. When my co-worker Jessica heard the story and how pleased I was with the benefits of my Blue Cash rewards card, she was in awe and immediately sold on AMEX’s brand promise. I told my brother in-law and he loved the story so much he decided to renew his membership for another year.
Whatever you are doing AMEX, it’s working, and people are noticing – so keep on at it!
I am so impressed that AMEX didn’t cut those corners because in the long haul, I want to put my money in the hands of people that actually show they care about their people. Especially in a time when money seems extremely fragile, there is an added sense of security knowing that AMEX has true relationships with their customers.