Thursday, February 1, 2018

Three Feel-Good Customer Service Stories From 2017

Car Salesman Portraying Excellent Customer Service
So you'd like to hear a few stories about amazing customer service from this year? My pleasure. Anyone who has ever visited Chick-fil-A probably understands that reference. What is it, exactly, that makes us flock to the mile-long line wrapped around the parking lot?

Excellent customer service. (Well, that and the chicken, of course!)

Chick-fil-A, the fast-food Mecca of a great customer experience, has taken new heights to ensure its name is synonymous with unmatched customer service. Someone even made a hilarious rap about it on YouTube. The chain's employees do everything with a smile — even during lunch-hour chaos! But even Chick-fil-A knows that negative customer experiences can happen to everyone. Did you know that it takes 12 positive customer experiences to make up for one negative experience?

What did we learn from customer service in 2017? And how can you encourage your employees to treat customers well in 2018? Check out these real-life lessons below.


Drive Your Customers to Tears of Joy


Betten Baker, a Michigan dealership, is receiving a great deal of recognition for an act of pure kindness. Some used car dealerships can get a bad rap for selling cars with problems, but Betten Baker is turning that stereotype on its head.

Three months after Marty Helton bought a vehicle from Betten Baker, the vehicle's engine died en route to North Carolina. Having purchased a used car as-is, he knew the dealership owed him nothing. However, he had no other option, so he decided to ask for "a used Junker... with a million miles on it and rusty" that he could drive for a few weeks. Betten Baker responded to this request and then some. Not only did the dealership loan him a shiny new Silverado, it told him they would retrieve his vehicle from North Carolina and work with the warranty company to get his car fixed.

Marty was so moved that he shared his experience on social media. His post generated over 3,000 likes, 450 shares and 200 comments.


What a great story! While you might not be able to demonstrate such extreme levels of generosity in every situation, you can always encourage employees to exceed customer expectations. Any personal touch, whether it's a handwritten note or gesture, is sure to enhance the customer experience. The potential for improving your brand's reputation is an added bonus.


Fly Past Customer Expectations


Lost luggage? We've all been there. It's undoubtedly a huge inconvenience, but for one Pennsylvania woman, being reunited with her things was especially urgent. Stacy Hurt, a wife and mother battling cancer, was brought to tears when she realized she wouldn't have her luggage, which included her chemotherapy medicine and a few good luck charms for her treatment the following day.

When Stacy made an emotional phone call to Southwest, Sarah Rowan, the employee who spoke with Stacy, promised to do what she could to make sure Stacy's luggage was delivered before her appointment at 9 a.m. the next morning. When the bag finally arrived at the airport at 2 a.m. after all the couriers had left for the night  Sarah made it her mission to hand deliver the luggage.

Stacy's luggage arrived on her front porch at 3 a.m. with the following note:



It's good-hearted employees like Sarah from Southwest that will ultimately build up your business's reputation for being customer-service oriented. Because many companies are giving their employees more autonomy to make decisions like this one, it's crucial that you clearly communicate and live out the values you expect so your employees know how to best represent the company  especially in a challenging situation!

Walk Your Team Through Top-Notch Customer Service


When an elderly gentleman known as Mr. Roy walked into his local Walmart one day, he wandered over to the customer service desk to request help. Because he was blind, he needed assistance finding his groceries. While the store didn't typically offer this service, customer service agent Brittany Walton walked hand-in-hand with him for two hours until he found every item he needed. The picture went viral on Facebook and was a warm reminder that showing kindness, especially in this day and age, is never a bad idea.

 Customers can easily sense when an employee doesn't like their job or is in a rush to be doing something else. Whether it takes two hours or two seconds, be a support system by carefully walking them through anything they may need help with. Not only will you build a good reputation for your company and yourself, but you might gain a customer for life!

After hearing these three stories about outstanding customer service, we hope it inspires your company to go above and beyond to take care of your customers this year! Check out the infographic "Customer Service: The Forgotten Marketing Channel" for more tips on retaining customers with excellent service.