It was Sunday night at 9:00 when the phone rang.  It was American Express calling me to verify some suspicious charges on my charge card.  They were worried someone had stolen my card or was using the numbers to make illegal charges.  The good news is that the charges were all legit.  I really appreciated the call.  American Express was looking out for my best interest.

One of my friends was in Europe and his card was stolen.  He immediately called both of the credit card companies he uses that were stolen with his wallet.  One of them was American Express.   

Both credit card companies handled the problem to his satisfaction.  Just one handled it better – much better. 

The “other” charge card company immediately cancelled the card and said that a new card would be waiting for him at a hotel he would be staying at in three days.  He appreciated what they did and accepted that he couldn’t get a replacement card for a few days.  That was until…

He called American Express.  They also took care of canceling his card, but instead of making him wait several days to get a new card, they told him to go to the American Express office – just a short cab ride away – and a card would be waiting for him within two hours.

I’ve talked and written about using “speed” as a weapon in your outstanding service arsenal.  This is a great example of how American Express made good service even greater by using “speed” or “quick response” as a way to show how good they can be.

And on top of using “speed” they were also “problem solvers.”  If you’ve read some of my articles in the past you will know one of the ideas like to I write about is being a solution to a problem.

Being great at what you do isn’t just about doing one thing right.  Usually it is about doing several things right in combination or unison.  That is what makes good people – and companies – great at what they do.

Shep Hyken, CSP, CPAE is the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations.  As a professional speaker and author, Shep helps companies develop loyal relationships with their customers and employees.  For more information on Shep’s speaking programs and books, please contact (314) 692-2200. Email:  Web: For information on customer service training, go to  

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