3 Real Stories of Customer Service That Touched The Hearts of Millions
Anyone that has been in business for more than a few weeks realizes that most companies live and die with the satisfaction of their customers. However, there is customer service, and then there is customer service. Some companies have managed to offer truly outstanding, world-class customer service to their customers. For the rest of us, these great stories of legendary customer service provide a learning opportunity.
These stories represent the ideals of customer service, and we should all aspire to offer similar levels of service in our own organizations.
Morton’s Steakhouse – The Power of Social Media
This particular incident created a perfect storm of customer service that provided a wonderful opportunity for Morton’s Steakhouse to offer great service to a customer while also creating a great positive news story about their operation.
Everyone has been hungry and crunched for time in an airport before. A customer at the Newark Airport was a fan of the steakhouse, so he sent out a Tweet that mentioned how he would enjoy a porterhouse steak delivered to the airport.
Morton’s seized on the opportunity immediately. They sent the steak, along with appetizers and all the trimmings, to the airport.
The happy traveller spoke out about their level of service, calling it amazing. This obviously earned the company at least one happy customer who will likely be loyal for life.
Because the story played out on Twitter, there was a large public following and the story went viral. This offered great free advertising for the company.
In the final twist, the customer was Peter Shankman, an expert in the customer service field. By offering him great service, Morton’s created an advocate with an existing platform for their brand, which is worth more than most money can buy in advertising.
Admitting When You’re Wrong – From the Mouths of Children
Sometimes, the best opportunities come from the unlikeliest of sources. In this case, the source was Lily Robinson, only three years old. When presented with “tiger bread” purchased at Sainsbury’s, Lily noticed a problem. She was old enough to know her animals, and was convinced that the product didn’t look like a Tiger, but a giraffe!
With the help of some family, Lily wrote to the company to let them know what she thought. The company responded to the little girl and also gave her a gift card.
By this time, the story had gone viral, and the widespread publicity gave the powers that be at Sainsbury’s another idea. They officially changed the name of the product to “giraffe bread”, tipping their cap to the child that had sparked so much interest in their company. It’s a heart-warming story that offered an opportunity to make a very happy customer, while also generating massive amounts of good press for the company – always a good combination.
Compassion First, Profits Second
Grief is one of the great unifying human experiences. Our mortality ensures that, but it also creates a sense of compassion and understanding when a fellow human being is going through a difficult time. This was the case when Kerry Drake was trying to fly home to visit his dying mother on the far side of the country.
Unfortunately, there was a delay in one of Drake’s flights as he tried to get home as quickly as possible. At the sight of a man crying, flight staff stopped to see what was wrong. Drake expressed his concerns that the delay would cause him to miss his chance to say his final goodbyes to his mother.
The staff leapt into action. The pilot of Drake’s connecting flight was notified, and the decision was made to hold the plane until his first flight arrived so he could make his connection.
Some might view a delayed flight as poor customer service. However, in this instance United Airlines offered a mother and son a chance for one final meeting. This is something that Mr. Drake will remember and cherish for the rest of his life, and is perhaps one of the most dramatic examples of how dedicated to customer service a company can be.
Great customer service isn’t made up of broad sweeping policies. Listening to individual people and treating each customer as a real person with real concerns is the foundation of truly exceptional service. When you do this, your efforts will speak for themselves, and build you a reputation as a company that people are eager to do business with.
Author: Michael Cynar
Michael Cynar has over 30 years of executive call center and answering service experience. He is a successful business owner and lead generation expert and shares tips to help other entrepreneurs build and grow their business through leads generation and lead capture solutions. His mission is to share carefully guarded marketing tips that will help small-medium business compete on a smaller budget.