When Fortune publishes your customer service philosophy for all to see, one would think that American Express would do a gut check to make sure all of the customer service reps are doing what the article say.
Not so, apparently. While American Express preaches that great customer service has a positive impact on share prices, which we think is probably true, that would imply that the AMEX reps are doing what customers want, right? Wrong. We know of at least two cases where the cusomer service reps told customers to just charge away, since AMEX doesn’t have preset spending limits, the implication being that the customer could pay off the balance over time. Not so. We think AMEX has preset limits and the company demands payment in full when they’re hit. Not surprisingly, this practice causes customers more than a little pain. And, they’re threatened with being sent to collections, if they don’t pay.
Hardly good customer relations. Our point in bringing this up is that if your company is going to have a liberal customer service policy….’the customer is always right’, your service reps had better operate according to it.
The senior AMEX management would be well served to listen in on a few customer service calls and take our E21 Customer Service Course.