In this age of online reviews, negative stories of poor customer service are rampant. Although not as commonly told, tales of positive customer service experiences are out there, too. And, they can serve as tremendous inspiration for companies to raise their quality of their own service. To motivate you to think beyond the basics, we’ve gathered up a collection of some of the most outrageously awesome examples of customer service that will amaze and impress you.
A Memorable Steak
One of the biggest proponents of going the extra mile to provide great service is author and business consultant Peter Shankman. In 2013, he shared an incredible story that went viral because it was such an exemplary example of a business “moving mountains” to please a customer.
After a day of business travel, Shankman jokingly tweeted before his plane ride home that he wanted Morton’s Steakhouse to meet him at the Newark airport with a Porterhouse steak when he landed. As a frequent customer of Morton’s, Shankman knew they had great service, but he certainly wasn’t expecting to find a tuxedo-clad waiter at the airport holding a Morton’s bag. Inside, he found a 24 ounce steak, an order of shrimp, a side of potatoes, a round of bread, two napkins and silverware.
What made this spectacular show of service even more amazing was the fact that the restaurant is 23.5 miles away from the airport. In the three hours from the time Shankman tweeted his “request”, Morton’s corporate office saw the tweet, obtained authorization to make the meal, got in touch with the local restaurant, placed the order, and coordinated delivery of it.
Customer Service Takeaway: An opportunity for providing great service can happen in an instant. Seize the moment and run with it!
More than Shoes
Online shoe retailer Zappos is well-known for being a customer service rock star. They don’t argue about returns and respond to customer emails at a lightning-fast speed. Zappos has even been known to shop at other stores for customers when they need something specific that is not in stock.
This heroic level of customer service was certainly shown when a customer had forgotten a pair of her favorite shoes on a trip to Las Vegas. Upon realizing that she didn’t have her shoes she had purchased from Zappos, she went back to their website to order a replacement pair. When she couldn’t find them, she called the company’s customer service department. Unfortunately, Zappos no longer carried the shoes. However, with their headquarters located in Las Vegas, they decided to try and find them in a local mall. They were indeed found and hand-delivered to the customer’s hotel at no charge.
Customer Service Takeaway: Search for a creative way to satisfy a customer.
With fun products and great prices, Trader Joe’s is a favorite destination for filling up a cart-full of groceries. They are also highly respected in their industry for providing personalized customer service. An example of this was when an 89-year-old grandfather was snowed in and didn’t have enough food to make meals for himself. His daughter who was located in another state called several markets in her father’s area to see if they offered grocery delivery service. The only one that said they could deliver food was Trader Joe’s.
The reality is that Trader Joe’s doesn’t offer delivery, but they wanted to help this elderly WWII veteran. As the daughter placed the order, the Trader Joe’s representative made additional recommendations that would be suitable for her father’s low sodium diet. The food was delivered, and they didn’t charge him or her for deliver or the groceries.
Customer Service Takeaway: Doing good always pays off.
Making Customer Convenience a Priority
No one enjoys having to deal with a vehicle recall. It usually requires a trip to the dealership and a lengthy wait for repairs to be made. In other words, it’s a big inconvenience to the car owner, even when the repair work and parts are free.
Carmaker Lexus definitely understood the hassles of vehicle recalls and decided to solve the problem. Instead of asking their customers to bring their Lexus ES 350 sedan in to fix a recall issue, they simply asked them to come to the dealership to pick up a brand new car. Now, that’s putting the customer first!
Customer Service Takeaway: Strive to minimize inconveniences.
Finding a Lost Giraffe
Ritz-Carlton has a legendary reputation for service. As a premium brand, they know that they have to live up to the expectations of each and every customer. This certainly was the case for Chris Hurn, a little boy who left his favorite stuffed giraffe “Joshie” in a Ritz-Carlton hotel room after a stay.
Upon realizing that the giraffe was missing, Chris’ father told his upset son that Joshie was just vacationing for a few extra days. He then called the hotel to ask them if they could mail him back his son’s prized possession.
To assure Chris that Joshie was safe, the hotel staff took a series of photos of Joshie during his “extended vacation.” The giraffe was photographed lounging by the pool, getting a massage, and even helping out in the hotel’s lost prevention department. Then, the hotel mailed back Joshie to Chris along with the photos and a booklet filled with information about his stay in the hotel.
Customer Service Takeaway: Sometimes, the smallest details can make the biggest difference.
As Benjamin Franklin succinctly said, “Well done is better than well said.” In the case of these companies, they are not just talking about service, they are providing it in countless ways. By focusing on the customer and having a willingness to do what it takes to exceed their expectations, a company can generate tremendous word-of-mouth exposure from customers who ultimately become their loyal brand advocates.