An exceptional customer service incident can bring you more sales from customers but a single bad experience can turn you into a brand that is reviled and hated. In this time and age when information travels faster than you can imagine, it is important to provide the best service possible as a single goof-up on your part can result in your name damaged among your customer’s friends and on their social media handles. The best marketing that you can do for your brand is by delivering good customer service.
Here are some of the most special customer service examples that other brands can learn from:
T-Mobile’s humane treatment to a situation
Imagine having to hear the news that you have lost one of your loved ones. The last thing that someone would think about is insignificant aspects like electricity bills, mobile bills, transportation charges, etc. You would already be highly shocked and out of sorts to even perform the most easiest of functions. This is exactly what happened to one of T-Mobile’s customers.
After the passing away of her husband, the wife was met with many responsibilities she hadn’t signed up for. The wife was used to her husband taking care of the responsibilities which meant that all of a sudden she was exposed to a lot of commitments. Taking care of all of this increased her airtime significantly. She got a message from T-Mobile saying that she had an unpaid phone bill of $2000 and that her phone line would be shut down soon.
She apprised them of her situation including the fact that she had no access to money since the accounts were frozen as there was no written will. She insisted that she really needed the phone and it wasn’t possible for her to pay the bill immediately.
How did T-Mobile act? Did it harp on rules, deadlines and such inane things when a tragedy of this range had befallen upon one of its customers?
Not only did they waive off the charges but also offered her unlimited number of minutes for the next two months.
Bianca. N. Diesel shared her experience on Quora and as of writing this, there have been more than 8,000 ‘upvotes’ on the answer and it has been viewed by more than 67,000 people.
These are the kind of stories that will create a lot of goodwill for the company and this is how companies should react when there is a ‘situation’ for a customer. Look beyond your bottom-line. Think of your customers as human beings who have their own issues to deal with, some of which are even beyond their control. By acting more humanely, you are blessed with an excellent opportunity to serve your customers better.
Domino’s Pizza employees save the life of a customer
Huffington Post carried the story of how Domino’s employees saved the life of one of its regular customers. It was normal for Kirk Alexander, a loyal fan of Domino’s Pizza from Salem, Oregon to order pizza every single day. When they noticed that he hadn’t ordered from them for more than two weeks, the manager sent someone from the Domino’s team to check in on him. After finding the lights and TV on and with Mr Kirk not answering the door either, they quickly called 911. The sheriff’s office reported that they heard someone calling for help from inside the residence and they found him in need of immediate attention.
The Domino’s team was extensively praised on social media for their actions which saved a life. This was what they told when a news publication asked them about it- “[Alexander is] just an important customer that’s part of our family here at Domino’s. He orders all the time so we know him. I think we were just doing our job checking in on someone we know who orders a lot. We felt like we needed to do something.”
Was it a part of their job description to check in on their customers? No, not at all. But they went above and beyond of what was expected of them.
WestJet airlines decides to perform a Christmas miracle
Although this is a marketing campaign planned during the time of Christmas, it takes effort to pull off stunts like these. During 2013’s Christmas, the company planned to surprise its passengers aboard two flights which were heading to Calgary. After the check-in for the flight, the passengers were directed to a video monitor which had a WestJet Santa on the other side. The passengers were encouraged to make Christmas wishes in front of the monitor.
After the flight started its journey, volunteers of WestJet in Calgary started rushing to the stores near the Calgary International Airport, bought the items that were asked as a wish by the passengers, gift-wrapped them and rushed to the airport with it. While the passengers thought they were going to claim their baggage, they were instead welcomed with gifts that they had requested prior to the flight.
The tearful reactions of the passengers has been captured for posterity. Many of them without a doubt were overwhelmed with the gesture and with such a generous act, WestJet has established itself as a company that cares about its passengers. You can find the video on YouTube and it is not surprising that it has been viewed more than 48 million times as of writing this. The 14,000 odd comments on the video praises the company for its generosity and for rewarding loyalty.
The tiniest of acts can have the maximum impact as long as it can touch the hearts of people. This was definitely a Christmas miracle where they planned to do something sweet and ended up making their passengers happy on a day when they were least expecting it from their airliner. The amount of money they spent on the gifts is nothing compared to the kind of success they achieved because of the gesture.
Zappos does it again
If there is one name that is synonymous with customer service, it has got to be Zappos, no wonder that Amazon (another stalwart known for its top notch customer service) acquired the company with a little more than a billion dollars in 2009.
Apparently, someone ordered shoes on Zappos and according to the customer, “the shoes fell apart” after he received them. This is how the Zappos customer service executive responded.
The Reddit thread is littered with praises for Zappos and undoubtedly so. Some of the heartening comments are “Zappos specifically hires people with personalities like this. It’s pretty awesome. It’s almost like someone over there actually has a brain”, “Aren’t they supposed to be one of the best companies to work for?”, “If I had written an email like that at my previous customer service job I would have been fired on the spot for unprofessionalism. Kudos Zappos.” and more.
What is the takeaway, you ask? Well, your customers love humor. It is easy to “WOW” anyone with humor. One more thing you should have noticed that an email like that would be frowned upon at many other places as being too unprofessional and casual. This is where Zappos has empowered its employees to do anything to make the customer feel better.
Starbucks Barista learns sign language for a customer
What is the extent to which you would go to accommodate someone with special needs? This Starbucks Barista learned the American Sign Language for a customer. It was easy for the barista to have ignored the needs of Ibby Piracha, a regular at the Starbucks in Leesburg, Virginia. Since Ibby is hard of hearing, he types his order on his phone and they take the order. Ibby was surprised when the order was taken using sign language. The barista handed him a note saying- “I’ve been learning [American Sign Language] just so you can have the same experience as everyone else.” The customer was touched and shared the note on Facebook and it has garnered more than 27,000 likes and it is closing in on 6,000 shares. The post has gained momentum and it got published in many other places too.
All that the barista did was to accommodate another customer who needed extra attention. The fact that the customer was shocked about it is a testament of how rarely something like this happens. And when it does, it moves mountains for the brand and the people associated with it. Remember that all of this happens when you genuinely care for your customers, it is impossible to replicate kindness, love and affection when it is not there. These are emotions that cannot be faked and can be easily seen through. It doesn’t take much to be a compassionate company, the returns are there for you to see.
Dealing with people from different backgrounds and attitudes can be a tricky thing, but at the end of the day you need to realize that all of us are human beings with a nice side as well. Companies like the ones we’ve mentioned above have shown how important it is to be a company that focuses on customer service and treats everyone with respect and dignity.
As a business, apart from improving your profits, you should also concentrate on becoming an entity that respects both its employees and customers better.
With social media as a powerful tool for customers to air their complaints, be the modern day saviour for them by replying to them immediately and resolving their problems as fast as possible. As we have been reiterating now and again in this article, even the tiniest act of service will bring truckloads of goodwill for your company.
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