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Global Marketing

CUSTOMER LOYALTY: MEMBERSHIP HAS ITS PRIVILEGES

Another company that has made every effort to provide customer loyalty is American Express.  The company offers several products of which their most popular are their charge cards.  I established a relationship with the card back in 2003.  Back then, I perceived American Express card as a status symbol signifying that I had reached a level of success in my career.  They initiated me with a pre-set spending limit.  I didn’t mind it as my intent was to use the card for work related expenses.  As they began to notice my spending patterns, they increase the spending limit.  They also began tailoring other products based on my needs such as travel and baggage insurance.  The difference between their competitors’ insurance offerings which required a monthly fee, the insurance offered by American Express was only charged when a flight was purchased.  Another plan they offered me where their Rewards Program.  For a yearly fee, any spending charge to the card would earn reward points that could be used to purchase services, products, and even convert the reward points to frequent flyer miles.  The rewards you could buy with the points were nice items such as brand watches, jewelry, and golf clubs to name a few.  Basically every point you earned, it was worth a dollar (this has change since the financial crisis, now every point is only worth approximately 50 cents.)

I took advantage of American Express exclusivity with Costco.  As every Costco member knows, you can’t walk out of Costco without spending at least $100.  The rewards add up (unfortunately Costco and American Express just ended their exclusivity.  That sucks!)

American Express not only offers reward programs or insurances, they offer the highest security against fraud.  They have a great algorithm that allows you to shop where ever you want but also keeps tabs on suspicious spending.  And they do it in a way that is the least disruptive.  For example, last week I was at The Grove celebrating my daughter’s birthday at the American Doll store.  After having lunch at the store, my daughter decide to buy some items for her dolls.  When I went to use my charge card the second time to pay for the items purchased, American Express decline it the transaction.  Within five seconds I received a text and a call from American Express’s fraud department asking me to confirm if I had made a charge at the store at the given dollar amount.  Once I responded back to the text, they replied right back telling me to continue shopping.  This type of security makes it less painful to deal with than putting a hold on the card, having to call to explain the situation, and in the process avoiding the embarrassment of holding up the line at the checkout stand.

American Express has made me feel like a member and not just a customer.  Their customer service is outstanding and they make every effort to provide the most pleasant experience when you call.  Their chat on their website also is very helpful.  Lastly, their mobile services adds to the experience.  For over twelve years I’ve enjoyed having the card and I will continue this relationship in the years to come.  If you have had a similar experience please share your story.