Service 2.0 for Retail Stores

Let me be very honest. I hate waiting time. I am an impatience guy, I hate airports though I love flying. One thing that can piss me off is retail stores. I hate them!

Why? Retail stores are obsolete in my mind. I have to navigate though a store design, use large amount of time, just to find what I am looking for. Online shopping or “search” for products, is a neat, clean and quick way to access what I intend to buy. I am an online guy.

Worse of all – retail stores, where you go for some kind of service. Having my skis prepped for the season, getting clothes cleaned or having the car for a service job, is often a drop-off for my sake – not saving me any time, and often a hassle to go from A to B, do the drop-off, go B to C, and then for just to return C to B to A.

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Service 2.0 – Real life example

Let me begin with a real life example. This night I came home, found a letter from the bank, with a new American Express credit card for my company. Of cause I ordered the card, but the service is commodity – Amex do live by sending their credit cards to customer 😉 The key differentiation factor, started when I needed to call the credit card activation service (hint: and by the way – you only have three tries, and then you die…). I typed the activation code two times, and was told every time that the numbers were wrong.

Hmm. Seems odd, but okay. I had a long day, didn’t quit follow the guide (never mess with a running system). So I typed the numbers again, and no!

“Dear Sir. You have tried to activate your American Express three times, but we could not acknowledge the numbers you have entered. Please contact your local bank for get more help”.

It is now, I really hate banks, because they are NEVER open when you need them, and now my Amex card will not be activated L

What an experience

Five minutes went by, and my mobile phone began to ring – icon showed a call from USA? Hmm… In fact this is where I stated the fact that there is a reason for using American Express.

“Dear Sir, my name if Jamie I am your customer service representative. I saw your card got flagged for bag authorization codes, and I was wondering if you experience any problems in activating your card”

Three minutes, and my card is activated. Small piece of information was needed (removed for security purpose). THAT is fanatically good support.

In real life American Express have all my information. They simply monitor all activation calls, and flag potential big spenders, to give them a good start on their American Express account. And the funny thing is, that this is very simple: with no active card, Amex does not get any business.

But what a nice feature!