For the seventh straight year, J.D. Power has named American Express #1 for credit card customer satisfaction. In the U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study released on August 22, 2013, J.D. Power evaluated credit card providers on customer interaction, credit card terms, billing and payment, rewards, benefits and services, and problem resolution.

“Service is the soul of our company, and I’m proud of what this says about our employees all across the company and their commitment to earning the trust and loyalty of our customers each and every day.” said Kenneth I. Chenault, chairman and chief executive officer, American Express.

The American Express website credits the impressive customer service scores to Relationship Care®, the company’s servicing approach that emphasizes resolution of queries on the first contact. Yes, you read that correctly – resolution on the first contact.

“Some things never get old, and hearing from your customers that you are doing a great job is definitely one of them,” said Jim Bush, executive vice president, World Service, American Express.

In addition to the invaluable publicity generated by the report and the positive word of mouth from satisfied customers, the exceptional customer service delivery also results in increased loyalty and spending.

It was revealed that credit cards that do a good job of communicating their rewards programs and benefits keep customers loyal. Additionally, customers who use their card’s benefits spend an average of $400 more per month on their card, compared with those who are aware of benefits but do not use them. That’s almost $5,000 more per year.

How would you rate your customers’ satisfaction with your service delivery? Is it motivating them to refer their friends? Is your customer communication inspiring loyalty and increased spending?

If you can’t answer with certainty, it’s time to employ valuable customer experience measurement tools such as mystery shopping, customer satisfaction surveys and brand audit to ensure that you are optimizing every customer interaction to your advantage.

Mystery Shopping can be conducted either in-person, over the phone, or even over the internet and provides a valuable opportunity to identify gaps in service delivery – allowing you to rectify the problem immediately. Mystery Shopping can also recognize service superstars as an example for others.

Customer Satisfaction Surveys fill in the blanks between the random bits of glowing praise and heated rants. Your customers possess a wealth of information that could positively impact your business and all you have to do is ask.

A Brand Audit is an objective evaluation of every customer interaction to ensure that your business is adhering to your brand standards. From your lobby signage to your customer invoices, a brand audit provides an ongoing assessment of everything that contributes to the customers’ perception of your brand.