In today’s world of technological advancement and aware customers with a host of options available, just a click away – customer service excellence is crucial for an organisation’s survival and growth! A happy customer is the best form of advertisement. Businesses today value the importance of customer service, and some companies go the extra mile to make their customers feel special.
“Well done is better than well said.”
– Benjamin Franklin.
Here we take a look at some inspiring anecdotes of excellent customer service from around the world.
Jay was the best man at his friend’s wedding. As the best man, he knew he had to look dapper. After all, it was one of the most memorable occasions for his friend. He ordered his shoes from Zappos, an American online shoe and clothing retailer. He opted for 3-day shipping to ensure that his shoes arrived on time.
However, all his plans went down the drain when the courier company UPS sent the package to the wrong location. Jay called up UPS hoping that they would hold the package at the shipment centre. But that could not be done. With just one day left for the wedding, a frustrated Jay called up Zappos to see if they could help him. Zappos rose to the occasion, and how!
They upgraded Jay’s account to a VIP account so that he could get free overnight shipping. Zappos even gave him a full refund for his shoes! Jay wrote about his customer service experience, saying that Zappos had earned a customer for life. When a company allows its team members to give out perks to its customers, it can prove costly. However, it results in a great customer experience, which, in turn, earns you customer loyalty. Many would say, a small price to pay.
Rajagopal Natarajan had his train tickets booked and wanted to take the best companion for any travel with him – a book. Since he was supposed to travel the next day, he decided to order a book online from Flipkart, one of India’s largest e-commerce websites.
The address was in Bangalore, and according to Flipkart, the delivery time was three days. However, if you have shopped online in any of the Indian metros, you would know that delivery happens almost within 24 hours. Even though it said three days, Rajagopal’s previous experience made him order the book. Now, Flipkart had doubled its logistic team, but the new changes had some initial teething problems. It caused delays and other inefficiencies. The same happened with Rajagopal’s book.
It was the day of the travel, and the book had not yet arrived. Rajagopal looked up the app, and it still had two days to go. Nevertheless, he decided to call up Flipkart, and what happened next was something he never expected. Despite the horrible Bangalore traffic, the delivery in-charge travelled for more than 15 kilometres to deliver the book right on time for his travel. Going the extra mile for something like a book may seem trivial for some. But it did set a great example of excellent customer service.
A 3-year-old named Lily Robinson, visited the Sainsbury supermarket, the second-largest supermarket chain in the UK. She was there with her parents and was quite confused by one of the products on display. It was the popular “Tiger Bread,” which she felt did not look like a tiger at all. Instead, it looked more like a giraffe.
She wrote a letter to the Sainsbury Customer Service Dept with her mother’s help. She wrote that Sainsbury should rename the tiger bread as giraffe bread because it did not resemble a tiger at all. Customer Support Manager Chris King agreed. He wrote back to Lily saying that the blotches on the bread indeed looked like a giraffe’s spots instead of a tiger’s stripes.
Sainsbury ended up naming the product Giraffe Bread. They put signs around the store stating the same and also noted that only the name has changed, as suggested by a customer. The bread still tasted just as wonderful as before. Lily’s mother posted the correspondence on social media, which was an instant hit.
The customer service guys at Sainsbury took advice from a little girl to do something fun. In turn, it became an example of what great customer service looks like.
Naomi Abraham was travelling on an SIA flight along with her husband and daughter. Her daughter was unwell and vomited after having some food. It was a huge mess. Anyone who looked at it would have been disgusted but not the SIA steward. He asked Naomi to take care of her daughter while he brought cleaning equipment to clean up the mess. He changed the seat cover and even apologised for not being able to change the belt as it was attached to the seat.
He remained calm throughout and did not seem to be bothered by the mess. Even after he was done cleaning, he would come to them from time to time, asking if everything was all right. He even put some coffee bags under their seat to mask the smell. Naomi and her husband were more than grateful and appreciative for such great customer service. The SIA steward went beyond his normal duties, and it showed that he cared.
Whatever the situation may be, making your customers feel special is important. When companies go beyond their customers’ expectations, customers take notice and share the experience with their friends and family and sometimes with the world. With social media, a simple post can show the world how great the company was and how happy it made the customer.
The best customer service begins at the frontline. When frontline members of a company see their customers as more than just that and go the extra mile, it results in great customer service stories.