Don’t be like American Express.

by Richard

Recently, we got an email from American Express with the subject line: “Call to experience simpler statement reconciliation”

Firstly, that subject line shut my brain down. When you contact customers, you’re already interrupting their day. Don’t make them work to figure out what you’re talking about. If you’re making monthly statements easier to read (which they are), just say that.

Of course, we’re not going to call them. We have more important things to do than sit on the phone with American Express today, and we know that they’re just going to use the opportunity to try to sell us something else that they offer (why else would we have to call a human to get this enabled?) They don’t respect our time. No customer wants to be told “Hey! We just gave you some more work to do, isn’t that great?”

Don’t intentionally cripple your product to make it more attractive for customers to “upgrade” to the non-crippled version. Customers generally realize when you’re being shady, and that clouds their view of you forever.

Don’t hold new features hostage and make a customer call or click a button button to activate it, unless it will cause an interruption or major change in their service. In that case, you need to let them be in complete control, like Linode does when they announce RAM/Disk space upgrades. When you have a pending upgrade from Linode, they give you a button that you can hit whenever you want to to kick off the upgrade process yourself, because your server will be shut down for a bit while it’s upgraded.

Just make your product better over time, and then tell your customers that you did. They’ll appreciate there you are always improving the product, that they heard from you about it, and that you respected their time.

We use the Since You’ve Been Gone feature in Retained to tell our customers how our apps have improved when they log in, and then they can dismiss it and go about their day.



Kill your churn. Keep more of your customers. Get an invite to Retained.

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