AMEX Survey: SMBs Place Great Emphasis on Customer Service

Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Posted by John Beagle

Four in five Americans (81%) agree that smaller companies (SMBs) place a greater emphasis on customer service than large businesses, according to the American Express Global Customer Service Barometer. The results of the survey couldn’t come at a better time as many small retailers look for ways to boost customer demand.

More than three-quarters (76%) of consumers who believe that smaller companies place a greater emphasis on customer service responded that they have spent more with companies because of a history of positive customer service experiences. Nearly as many (73%) say they would be willing to spend more with a company that they believe provides excellent customer service. Below I’ve included the press release for your review.

Americans are placing an even greater premium on quality customer service this year. In a stronger economic environment, seven in ten Americans (70%) are willing to spend an average of 13% more with companies they believe provide excellent customer service. This is up substantially from 2010, when six in ten Americans (58%) said they would spend an average of 9% more with companies that deliver great service.

Poor service experiences leave many hot under the collar.  
More than half of respondents (56%) admit to having lost their temper with a customer service professional. 

-Consumers age 30-49 are the most frequently angered (61%).

-Young people are more patient, with more than half of those age 18-29 saying they’ve never lost their temper with a service professional (54%).  

“Getting service right is more than just a nice to do; it’s a must do,” said Jim Bush, Executive Vice President, World Service.  “American consumers are willing to spend more with companies that provide outstanding service, and they will also tell, on average, twice as many people about bad service than they are about good service.  Ultimately, great service can drive sales and customer loyalty. ”

A notable bright spot? SMBs. Four in five Americans (81%) agree that smaller companies place a greater emphasis on customer service than large businesses. 

Companies that have earned a reputation for service excellence understand the employees interacting with customers every day are the true ambassadors of their brands.  As a result, finding the right people and putting them in a position to succeed is key.

About the American Express Global Customer Service Barometer

The American Express Global Customer Service Barometer research was completed online among a random sample of 1,018 U.S. consumers aged 18+.  Interviewing was conducted by Echo Research between February 2-10, 2011. Overall, the results have a margin of error of +/- 3.1% at the 95 percent level of confidence.  The same survey methodology was used in Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, Italy, the U.K., the Netherlands, Australia, and India. 

About American Express

American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success.  The American Express service ethos, Relationship CareSM, is designed to train Customer Care Professionals to not only respond to a customer’s question or solve their problem, but go the extra step of offering the customer tailored information about how they can get more value out of their card and their relationship with American Express.  The company is a four-time consecutive recipient of the J.D. Power and Associates “Highest in Customer Satisfaction among U.S. Credit Card Companies” and a recipient of a 2010 Forrester Research Voice of the Customer Award.  American Express also ranked first in the credit card category of the Satmetrix 2011 Net Promoter® Industry Benchmarks.  Learn more at and connect with us on,