AMEX: More Credit Where it’s Due

Whoever took over the responsibility for Customer Service, or Customer Advocacy in management- speak, at American Express deserves a Gold Medal Ribbon (that’s not redundant… just ice cream).

A short decade or so ago, calling American Express was an intimidating event. If you could get past the language issue, a fact that has been beaten to death, you were invariably treated like you were coming in to a bank at the turn of the century to apply for a loan with no collateral.
“Mr. Stilwater, will you proffer your soul should we decide to grant your loan request?”

A great thing happened. About 4 yrs ago, or maybe double that, magically you called into the Amex help desk and got an agent whose first language was your own. Low and behold, the agent was genuinely interested in helping you solve your problem!

If I need to call in now, I kinda look forward to it instead of dreading the call. What a change!

What’s more, I have a friend who shall remain nameless that has one of the Holy Grail cards pictured below, and is blown away by the level of service. This card couldn’t have been offered without a fundamental remake of the service organization.

Kudos to the powers that be at Amex who thought that great customer service might actually be a differentiator and NOT a necessary evil!


Leadership… it never goes out of style

You know, one of my favourite blogs is written  by Ben Horowitz called Ben’s Blog. He always provides sage, articulate and direct advice regardless of whether you are an intrapreneur or an entrepreneur. Always magnanimous, he is promoting his partner Scott Weiss on this terrific post: Follow the Leader // Scott Weiss. It reminds me of my dad and the way he and his partners conducted business. Nothing was too small to care about.

Calm Guidance in a Chaotic Ocean