When Overnight Isn't Fast Enough

August 13, 2010

In the new era of customer service at American Express, even an overnight delivery can be too slow.

Earlier this year, a card holder called into the American Express service center in Phoenix where Wendy Fondrin works as a customer care team leader. The customer was distraught because she had lost her card and her mother had died. “The lady was in hysteria,” Fondrin recalls. “She needed to make funeral arrangements immediately.”

Normally, the fastest American Express will send out a replacement card is through an overnight delivery. But Fondrin and the company decided that wasn’t good enough in this case. They arranged to have the woman get a replacement card the same day through shipping firm Sonic Delivery. The cost? About $500—paid for by American Express. Fondrin says that price effectively bought the customer’s business for the long haul, as well as her help in persuading others to go with American Express.

“The loyalty and that refer-to-a-friend is worth that money,” she says.

Workforce Management, August2010, p. 16 -- Subscribe Now!