Reading inspiring customer service stories are an excellent way to focus our efforts on wowing our customers and remind us to connect with them whenever possible.  Here are three such stories.

The first involves a customer by the name of Kelly Kinkel.  She had purchased a coat from online retailer, Zulily.  However, when it arrived, the fabric was not what ideal for her.  She called customer service to see about returning it.  The representative she spoke with, Patrick, was friendly and professional, offering to promptly refund her purchase.  She asked him again how to ship the still-new coat back to the company, and to her surprise, he asked her to pass it on to someone who might need it or to donate it to a charity.  “That would make us very happy”, he said.  Ms. Kinkel, floored by this response, remarked “I’m a customer for life.  The world needs more love like that.  Honest business.  Honest ethics.  How refreshing!”

Another customer, Katie Clunn, heard about Ms. Kinkel’s experience and chimed in with her own story about Zulily.  She had ordered blankets for her kids’ beds, but her daughter had changed her mind about which color she would like.  Ms. Clunn called customer service to see if she could cancel one of the original blankets in order to swap the color.  The representative found that the original order had already been processed and shipped, but found a better solution to the problem: he said that he was going to ship out the coveted purple blanket and asked Ms. Clunn to donate the blanket from the original order.

Both of these cases illustrate how important it is to have a customer-centered value set.  Each customer’s needs were immediately and effortlessly met.  Company core values were also actively upheld, asking both customers to give their unwanted items to charity.  Lastly, both cases offer real world glimpses of why empowering every customer service representative with the authority to meet their customers’ needs is so vital to customer satisfaction.

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Photo by Eric Frey III

Josh from Vitamix – Photo by Eric Frey III

At a Costco in Tuscon, Arizona, another company found the opportunity to shine.  Vitamix sent an employee, Jeremy, into the store to demonstrate their wares.  A lady who had been battling cancer was very interested in the product and spent time discussing the healthy properties of fruits and vegetables, but was unable to purchase one because of her medical bills.  Later, while waiting in line at the food court, Jeremy from Vitamix showed up and presented her with her very own machine, along with the receipt showing he had personally purchased it for her at full price.  The gesture was so meaningful, so heartfelt, that she cried right there in the middle of Costco.

This story isn’t just a feel good story about an isolated incident.  Rather, it’s a beautiful reminder that no matter what our products are, we have opportunity after opportunity to know and understand our customers as people.  That our interactions with them have the potential to impact them in meaningful ways.

What cases have you heard about or managed that remind you of the powerful potential we have to make our customers feel great?[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]