Fred Reichheld

« HBR Highlights the Bad Profit Problem | Main | It's About Time »



This is an impressive story. I'm an executive at a credit union with over 200,000 cardholders and we've handled some situations in similar fashion. But, in most cases the call is escalated to a supervisor (or two) before that action is taken. What's impressive to me, and one of my dreams in this organization, is to have the first person who answers the call be able to analyze the situation, and act appropriately on the spot. Kudos to American Express for having that culture in place, at least in this case.

Christian Kirsch

I love your concept to measure customer satisfaction by just one question!


Companies that figure out a way to empower their "front-end" truly leave a lasting impression on customers. I can remember two such examples of empowerment -

a) I once stayed at a Marriott property, while on a business trip. While having dinner in my room, I flipped through the TV channels, and I watched a couple of movie trailers, but never proceeded to buy the movie on their pay-per-view channels. When I checked out the next morning, I noticed that I'd been charged for a movie ($14.99). I went to the front-desk and explained to them that I only watched a trailer and never really watched the movie. I expected the frontdesk person to explain how I must have inadvertently pressed the Buy button etc. But all he said was "I am so sorry, sir. I will have that charge reversed right away!" and he went on to give me a revised bill. Wow! He didn't even have to go to his manager for approval.

b) My collegue and I were once strolling through a mall on a busy day, and we eventually got tired of walking around. We were thirsty and wanted to buy a coke to drink. We looked around and found a Chinese restaurant nearby, where you had to walk up to the counter and place your order. So, we stood in line (there were 3 people ahead of us), and when we eventually got to the lady at the counter, she said "what can I get for you?". We said "Two cokes, please". She said "Thats it?" and we said "yes". We reached out to our wallet to pay her, and she said "Oh don't have to pay for that. Thats fine" and she said that with a huge smile on her face. Wow! This happened 7 years back, and I still remember the incident.

The comments to this entry are closed.