Lachlan and I received our AMEXs in the mail today.
After many months of spending a pretty penny on expenses, we thought we may as well start getting a return from it.
And can you blame us?
Getting flights and accommodation for a nice family holiday a couple of times a year on points is hard to say no to.
So when it arrived, I was pretty excited to get it all underway and start accumulating those points (gamification is so simple but it works).
And while I knew I’d be excited, I didn’t expect what happened next.
It reminded me of an important business lesson that I wanted to share while it was on my mind.
Someone is always doing it better than you.
As I opened my package, it became immediately apparent that AMEX had put a tonne of effort into their first impression.
They had made receiving a credit card a goddamn experience you won’t forget easily.
And compared to my normal bank which is so transactional, it blew them out of the water.
As I popped my AMEX Card from its holder into my hand, I was immediately taken aback by how thick and heavy it is. It was as if I was holding real platinum in my hand.
The box it came in was matte black and felt like I was 7 years old again unwrapping LEGO at Christmas… I didn’t want to damage the box because it just looked too good to spoil.
Inside the box, coloured leaflets detailed the key benefits of paying with AMEX:
“A card that works for you as you do for your business” was sprawled across the leaflet in bold. In smaller font, it told me about all the benefits and use cases for the points I’d effortlessly collect while going about my daily business.
“It’s having the capital to capitalise” gave me insight into how I can access a line of credit with a simple phone call… up to $45,000 with 55 days of no interest.
Each of these single leaflets reinforced what a great decision I’d made.
As I cycled through them all, I found out I had a free subscription to the Australian Newspaper, free comprehensive travel insurance whenever I go, late checkout at all their partner hotels, and free access to all the fancy airport lounges…
Man it felt good.
Bonuses and benefits on top of bonuses and benefits.
They had opened the dopamine flood gates and I was on cloud nine.
Activating the card online felt seamless. It made it easy and enticing to share a referral code that would benefit both me and my friends.
Within 30 seconds of activating my card, my phone started ringing.
“Hello Karl, this is James from American Express. Welcome aboard, I’m your personal concierge. It’s nice to meet you.”
Wow, I thought — these guys know how to make a first impression.
As I returned to earth, I realised just how special they made something real damn ordinary.
And that is what reminded me that there is always someone doing it better than you.
As good as our onboarding to our program is, it could be better. We could make them feel more special.
As good as our Elite Athlete GamePlan is, it could be better. We could make it feel more impactful.
And as good as our culture is, we could do better. We could make it feel more exclusive.
We are simple creatures.
We all look for status and recognition.
And AMEX gave me that feeling in droves this evening.
And you bet I’m thinking about what I can do to recreate that feeling at AA.
Maybe, this sparks some inspiration for you too.
– Karl Goodman