Why is it that some companies get the loyal highly paying customers, maintain low operational costs and generate great profits?
Through a couple of real-life examples, I’m sharing with you what makes up the difference and give you 3 practical tips on how you can implement it in your business today.
PS: If you liked this video, check out my youtube channel and let me know what you think.
- In this video, Silvia Myers shares her recent experience with 2 different call centres
- There is a specific approach which when applied minimises your operational costs and maximises your revenue
- There are a few things you need to avoid if you want to prevent high operational costs and losing customers
- Creating loyal customers and raving fans for your brand is relatively easy, you just need to do a couple of things consistently
- Watch the video for the full story
See the full transcript (click here to expand)
Have you ever wondered why is it that AMEX wins all of the awards? They win all of the customer experience awards, call centre awards, they have great retention rates. Have you ever wondered why is that? Well, I’m going to tell you a great story in a minute, but first of all, welcome.
My name is Silvia Myers, and I’m the founder of Bright Cherry. I love amazing customer experience, I love customer centricity, and of course, I love sharing all of those insights with you. But let me go back to the story…
Last Friday, I had an experience with American Express. I’ve been a customer for quite a while, and then I was checking my statements on Friday. I don’t even know why I did that. But anyway, suddenly, I checked my statement online, and I saw there was an $80 interest charge. And I was like, “What the eff? “What is this interest charge for? “I always pay my bills. “This is ridiculous.” Part of me was worried that there is some more interest coming, and part of me was a little bit angry. So I picked up the phone ready to put up a fight, and on the other side… I get this lovely gentleman who straightaway puts me at ease…
He’s like, “Hey, Silvia, how is it going? “How is your day?” And I’m like, “Well, my day actually isn’t that great because I got charged this $80 in interest, and I just don’t know why is that.” And as a customer, I was expecting him to do what all the other agents do on the phone. “Oh, yeah, let me look into that. “Let me bring up your profile.” Whatever. Now instead, he goes…
“Well, that’s annoying, isn’t it?” And I was like, “Yeah, it is annoying.” He’s like, “Last thing you want is finding an interest charge of $80 and having to call me during business hours. I’m sure you’ve got better things to do, don’t you?”
And I was like, “Yeah.” And from that point onwards, I was like, “Wow. This dude totally understands me. He totally understands where I’m coming from. He understands that I’m annoyed. He understands that this is not what I want to be doing during my day. It’s not something I expect – to be getting the charges…
And from that point onwards, my angry charge just went down straight away, and I was like, “Oh, okay, I can trust this guy. He’s here to help me. He is here to really resolve my issue.” And so I was like, “Please, help me.” Completely just trusted his lead, and there was no reason anymore to fight back and push and be on the guard and be watching my interest because there was somebody else who I felt like he’s actually looking after me. He’s here for me…
So anyway, it turns out that I actually underpaid my statement balance. I know, how can it happen, but I thought I was being quite sophisticated, sending different funds from different accounts based on what the charge was about, and as a result, I ended up underpaying the total amount by $200, which meant that American Express, as it says in their terms and conditions, charged me interest on the overall amount.
So, it turns out it was my fault, but right after I realized it was my fault, I was like, “Oh, okay, that’s annoying. Now I got charged interest on the whole amount, and yes, it’s my fault.”
But before I even requested, “Is there something you could do?” the gentleman on the phone said straightaway, “Silvia, but please don’t worry. Please don’t worry. You are a really important customer to us. We’re not trying to get just 80 bucks out of you. I see on your statement you always pay your bills, you’ve been a loyal customer for a long time. I just completely understand how you tried to do the right thing. I completely understand how you tried to do the right thing but ended up making a mistake. It’s okay. Don’t worry, I’ll reverse the charge right now, no questions asked. That’s fine….
WOW, I didn’t even have to ask for it…. He completely anticipated my needs, and I guess at AMEX, they understood that they’re going to get more money out of me if they treat me the right way rather than try to catch me doing the wrong thing…
As a result, the call wrapped up quite fast, and at the end of the call, he was like, “Oh, by the way, Vivid Festival is on,” which is one of the autumn festivals or winter festivals here in Australia, and he goes straightaway, “Oh, by the way, and there is an AMEX lounge. Make sure you pop in there.”
And suddenly the call was about something else. My problem was long forgotten, and I left that call really quickly, my issue was resolved, and I just felt like, wow, this was a great experience.
As a result, it resulted in quick operational costs on their side too, because the issue is resolved, it’s closed, they no longer have to put resources on that. And with that, I wanted to compare it to another experience that I had a few weeks ago.
It was also with a call centre. It was with one of the major airlines in Australia. I’m not going to name it, but you probably know which one it is. And I had been a loyal customer with that airline for a long, long time, and I had accumulated loads of points for about 15 years now, but I haven’t flown with them for the past year or so and suddenly checked my statement, and all of my points were gone. All of them, gone…
And so I was thinking, well, I need to call them and resolve this, but I was so 100% sure it was going be resolved. Anyway, unlike AMEX, the agent who picked up the phone said, “Oh, okay, let me look into your file,” without acknowledging anything, then they looked into my file and they were like, “Well, your points expired because x, y, zed,” and I was like, “Okay, but could you do something about it? It just expired and I have just flown so I thought we could kind of renew that.” “No” she goes, “You should read the fine print, you should read the fine print. It’s in the terms and conditions.”
And she was just getting on about the terms and conditions, and I was like, “Yeah, but I’m a customer. I fly with you. I don’t always look in the terms and conditions. Like in this case, it just expired, literally.” And she continues, “No, we can’t give it to you back but we can make you an offer to get your points back “but it’s going to cost you this much.” And I was like, “Alright, this is a bit ridiculous because these are my points.”
And anyway, I ended up asking for the supervisor, and the supervisor kept going on about the same thing, so the call ended up lasting for over an hour, over an hour, so imagine the cost to the company having to have an angry customer on the phone for over an hour, and I left the call without my issue being resolved, completely angry, obviously over an hour of my time that I’m never getting back, and plus, I felt so angry that I no longer care about any loyalty points.
So guess what I did? Everything that was connected to those loyalty points, to that organization, I was like, you know what? Cut this. I no longer want that. I am going to fly with the company if I ever need to, but in terms of the points, they’re not getting any of my money anymore, voluntarily…
And so with that, I just wanted you guys to see the comparison, see how in AMEX, we’ve got someone who acknowledges your issue straightaway? What does that do to the customer? It puts the customer at ease, makes the customer understand that somebody’s here to serve me and then by letting a little bit of that fine print go, we are able to resolve issue in one call, very, very quickly, resulting in having a loyal customer who raves about the brand.
Versus another company, where we keep hassling about the fine print, we keep having a dispute, issue is not resolved, problem is not acknowledged at all, we spend about over an hour operationally on that call, having to dedicate resources to that, and then we have a customer who basically we may as well say that that customer has left our business after an hour…
So it’s kind of like a double expenditure. Can you see that? It’s kind of like in the great AMEX experience, we’ve got amazing operational efficiency, and we’ve got a very happy customer, which is literally doubling your profit along the way because it’s making your customer being loyal, recommending you, spending more with you, but at the same time, we are minimizing our operational costs because there is a minimal resource dedicated to that.
Versus a company where we are fighting for every dollar and talking about the fine print, but as a result, we end up spending more and losing a customer. So can you see how that makes a big difference?
And so with that guys, I would like to ask you today how do you treat your customers, whether they’re internal stakeholders or external customers? Do you try to fight about what’s right and what’s wrong and whose fault it was, or do you acknowledge their issue straightaway, which then helps you resolve it very quickly and ultimately helps you reach your goals, whatever those might be.
So please let me know what you think. Write me comments below. I would love to hear from you. I would love to hear how do you go on about acknowledging your customers’ issues, how do you go on about resolving issues quickly, and how do you go on about operational efficiency.
Leave me comments below. I would love to hear from you. Thank you so much for watching, guys. If you want to hear more of these types of stories, subscribe to my channel, and I’m looking forward to talking to you next time.