Good customer service is the lifeblood of any business. But truly great customer service? That’s something to aspire to and celebrate whenever you come across it. This level of service not only leaves customers awed and appreciative — it can have profound effects on how a company is perceived by the public.
Let’s look at some examples of world class customer service in action.
Going the extra mile for a grieving son
San Francisco resident Kerry Drake knew his ailing mother didn’t have much time left. He was in a race to the hospital to tell his mother goodbye.
Unfortunately for Drake, his mother was far away in Texas.
Drake booked a flight with United Airlines, but his connecting flight was delayed. Drake became visibly upset and began crying. After providing him with tissues, flight attendants asked Drake about the reason for his tears. Drake replied the delayed flight meant he would be unable to see his mother one final time.
United Airlines made sure that didn’t happen. On the request of his pilot, the connecting flight was delayed — and Drake was able to visit his mother for a final goodbye.
Delaying a flight is not a small sacrifice — to an airline, timely flights are an incredibly important, core part of the business. Yet United Airlines was willing to make that sacrifice to reunite a mother and son. That’s stellar customer service.
A Tiger Becomes a Giraffe
Lily Robinson, a spunky three-year-old English girl, decided that the “tiger bread” her parents bought from U.K. retailer Sainsbury’s didn’t really resemble a tiger — it looked more like a giraffe.
Robinson sent a letter to a Sainsbury’s executive pointing out the “discrepancy.” She received a playful letter in response, acknowledging that the bread truly did appear more giraffe-like. She also received a gift card to buy more of her favorite tiger bread.
Robinson’s mother was so taken by the exchange she posted the letters on her blog. From there the story went viral, eventually trending on Twitter and appearing on other social media platforms. Sainsbury’s decided to honor Robinson’s request by officially renaming tiger bread “giraffe bread” — another great display of world-class customer service.
The Sizzle and the Steak
Peter Shankman is a well-known customer service expert, so he knows outstanding public relations work when he sees it.
While at Newark Airport, Shankman was hungry but didn’t have time to catch a meal before getting on a plane. So Shankman Tweeted a request to Morton’s Steakhouse for a porterhouse steak delivered to the airport.
To his amazement, Morton’s did exactly that. The venerable steakhouse chain sent Shankman a two-pound steak, hand-delivered by a Morton’s employee.
Morton’s didn’t stop at the steak — they sent an order of “colossal” shrimp, potatoes, bread, silverware and napkins.
Shankman was so blown away by the effort; he later recounted it in his blog, calling Morton’s dedication to customer service “amazing.”
By going above and beyond, Morton’s earned Shankman’s undying loyalty — and a multitude of public goodwill.
Great customer service stories like these illustrate the power of one kind gesture to a single customer. By going above and beyond, these companies built deeper ties with their customers — while earning loads of priceless publicity.
That’s a winning strategy.
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