Service is Everything.

Without exaggeration, there is never a week that goes by without a credit card solicitation arriving in your mailbox. And there's sound reason for that. A credit worthy individual is a desirable prospect and fair game. Thus begins the vicious cycle of credit card surfing – transferring balances to a lower interest rate credit card with the stroke of your pen on the dotted line. In an instant, every marketing dollar the former credit card issuer has spent to keep you loyal is lost.

So, how do credit card giants keep their cardmembers happy and safe? With retention programs that build relationships that make you resist enticing competetive offers – programs that have you stand up and "just say no" to surfing for a better rate.

First USA Bank felt that erosion of its customers could be pre-empted by an aggressive retention program. After all, credit card companies pride themselves on finding ways to get you to spend more dollars. So, if First USA could demonstrate to its Platinum customers that they were special and worthy of extra attention, the rate of erosion would subside.

The challenge to build this service from the name up was handed to us. After market research and a creative direction was developed – "At Your Request" was born. A full-scale concierge service designed to know you better, and yes, get you to spend more. We studied customer's habits, interviewed people, ran beta testing in specific regions, and built this service from the cardmember up. Early indicators were that folks wanted help with travel, finances, education and leisure time activities. And they wanted fast, reliable service. So we set out to design marketing materials that would instantly convey those benefits. We created an image of an era that exemplified service... the 50s, when you could get your gas pumped and your windshield cleaned. Referencing nostalgic advertising images of that era, we developed a logo and a series of thirty-two illustrations that would reinforce their theme "At Your Request, Your Time Saving Connection."

Target cardmembers were determined and sent direct mail offers, postcards, and e-mails to ask them to sign up. And they did. Growth was steady and other segments were added as staffing allowed more service. Advance notice of important dates to remember became an added feature with the "Just in Time" reminder of service. A website was created to allow 24/7 access to a member profile, reminder dates and the ability to find, shop and purchase all in one visit to the site.

As volume grew, so did sales from members using their cards to secure requests. And as sales grew, cardmembers remained loyal, finding their credit card company offered more than what competitors could deliver. Surfing subsided; loyalty increaed and "At Your Request" became a valuable perk offered in all prospective cardmember solicitations.


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