American Express Canada
(10 pages of text)
This case examines how a premium credit card company, American Express Canada (Amex Canada), is attempting to differentiate itself from its competition and to realize value for—and from—its cardholder members through a focus on providing apt quality services and servicing. In April 2011, the president and chief executive officer of Amex Canada is considering his options in sustaining the company's stance in the ultra-rich end of the premium payment cards segment in the face of competition from credit card companies that previously targeted the Canadian mass market. The situation is compounded by the after-effects of the economic downturn that began in the United States in 2008. Amex Canada has to develop a viable strategic and operational plan to realize its vision of becoming "the most respected service brand," an ambition that is founded upon what it calls the "Total Service Experience" it provides to its card members. The case looks at the history of the company, provides an overview of the Canadian payment card industry, and explores core service and servicing issues salient to the design and provision of the Total Service Experience that Amex Canada hopes will not only satisfy existing cardholders but will attract new card members across its array of payment card options.
This case, which is intended for use in core operations management or elective service management classes at both the undergraduate and graduate levels of instruction, addresses the strategic and operational issues and challenges American Express (Amex) Canada managers and personnel face in providing its cardholders with the Total Service Experience. The case focuses attention, among other learning issues, on the criticality of firms being able to fulfill their service provider's mandate (i.e., primarily to design and deliver apt quality outcomes that hold the potential to satisfy and enable value realization for and from customers). The case aims to:
- Explore the key managerial difference between service design and service provision (i.e., servicing), and examine what the ramifications are of those differences for productive decision making and action at Amex Canada vis-à-vis competing on service and servicing excellence.
- Expose students to a number of critical service operations management concepts and principles including the service strategy triad, servicing delivery system architecture, and the 4Ds management of service/servicing quality (e.g., definition, design, delivery and diagnosis) and see their applied relevance as it relates to the management of Amex Canada's Total Service Experience.
- Identify and understand the different types and sources of customer, and firm, value as it relates to the provision of services, and craft and leverage a productive approach to go about realizing that value throughout Amex Canada cardholders' service consumption journeys.
Finance and Insurance
Canada, Large, 2011
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