Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the phrase “uncertain times” has become a common refrain within organizations. Although the situation has evolved since those early days, an uncertain environment persists due to the pandemic and other factors, such as supply chain disruptions, the Great Resignation, and more. To understand how leaders are using Experience Management as a tool to navigate through these uncertain times, we spoke to Luis Angel-Lalanne about his experience at American Express leading the Voice of the Customer program for the Global Services Group over the past few years.

Introducing Luis Angel-Lalanne

As Vice President, Customer Voice for the Global Services Group at American Express, Luis Angel-Lalanne has global responsibility for the Voice of Customer program and complaints reporting for the Global Services Group. The Voice of Customer program is a survey covering all servicing interactions and is the primary measure of customer experience success for the organization and for individual frontline employees. The team manages the survey process, reporting, and insights to drive continuous improvement. Over the past few years, Luis has helped transform and modernize the entire program by upgrading the infrastructure and technology, improving the survey experience, and strengthening the customer care professional link. 


American Express Navigates Uncertainty with Experience Management

In the spring of 2020, when the pandemic first began, American Express started receiving customer feedback that trended differently from the historical norm. Given the frequently changing environment, customers were uncertain about how to adjust their travel plans and use their account benefits. Their responses became longer, more emotional, and required attention from parts of the American Express organization beyond the Customer Voice team. To address these changes, Luis and his team proactively curated customer commentary from specific products, countries, and customer groups and started sharing it regularly with leaders across the Global Services Group, allowing these leaders to understand and act on the rapidly changing customer needs that fell within their purview.

American Express found that the unstructured nature of the customer commentary highlighted opportunities for new offerings that would provide value to customers under the circumstances induced by the pandemic. For example, the company established streaming and internet deals to supplement travel and entertainment offers that were temporarily obsolete, made short-term financial relief planning offers available to support customers experiencing economic hardship, and surfaced and routed feedback from disheartened customers to teams best poised to acknowledge and respond. Luis’s team increased the frequency of insights sharing, enabling the organizations leading these initiatives to gauge the reception of new offers in real-time and quickly iterate based on customer feedback to arrive at the most favorable outcomes. 

As a result of these efforts, teams across American Express gained a better appreciation of the value of customer listening programs, and Luis’s organization expanded the program in a number of ways, such as the addition of journey-based listening. Watch the full video to hear more from Luis on leading American Express’s Voice of the Customer program and his advice for other XM professionals looking to lead their organization through periods of uncertainty.

Moira Dorsey, XMP is a Principal XM Catalyst with Qualtrics XM Institute

Luis Angel-Lalanne is Vice President of Customer Voice with American Express