6 Customer Service Experiences Worth Tweeting About
This is the second post in a series about creating memorable customer experiences. The first one appeared on Friday and gave some examples about creating memorable online experiences for your customers. Today’s post focuses on companies that have a good track record of creating positive experiences in a variety of ways.
In all of the examples, both the ones listed Friday and the ones listed below, notice the commonalities. Most of the stories involved an employee acting freely, making decisions that may or may not have been standard protocol listed in the employee handbook. This speaks volumes to having well-trained, quality personnel who focus on the big picture and have intuitive customer service skills. There may be value in giving representatives some freedom in their interactions with customers.
LEGO: Customer Service Skills in the Mail
In addition to the discovery centers that look strikingly like amusement parks (which they also have), LEGO creates memorable customer experiences by responding to kids’ letters, too. For a company that’s been around since 1932 and now reaches more than 130 countries, these stories of customer service reps creating personal responses for kids in unique circumstances surely made these boys customers for life.
First, there’s the kid who saved his money to buy a particular LEGO set only to learn that it had been discontinued. And then there’s the 7-year old who disobeyed his dad and lost a treasured LEGO figure. He wrote the company and told them all about it. Both boys received personalized letters in response from individuals whose customer service skills went beyond explanations to understanding their primary customer pool: kids.
SOUTHWEST AIRLINES: Customer Service Skills in the Air
Flying can be stressful. Whether it’s for business or pleasure, with kids or without, anything an airline can do to help you relax goes a long way toward creating a memorable experience. Southwest Airlines has a reputation for having humorous flight attendants who are able to do just that.
However, not everyone who flies does so for joyful reasons. In an industry that competes for on-time arrival percentages, one Southwest pilot held an entire flight at the gate for 12 additional minutes so one particular passenger could board. If the passengers on the plane were frustrated by the delay, they wouldn’t be if they knew the story.
One of the beautiful things about the Internet is that stories like these go viral without the companies they represent having anything to do with it. What makes them viral is the customer experience they created for one or a handful of individuals. There is no better way to build brand loyalty than extreme measures of kindness.
APPLE: Customer Service Skills in the Store and in Returns
Apple could easily be one of the most notable names for creating memorable customer experiences. What other company stirs up the Internet over product announcements as much? In the stores, sales representatives let you “test drive” the products, teach lessons on how to use the products, troubleshoot, and model the ingenuity of their products by doing things like making your purchase transaction where you stand in the store using a mobile device.
When the iPad 2 was released a few years ago, the customer service team watched the returns closely to see if there were any glitches they needed to address immediately. In one return, there was a note attached to the iPad that said simply, “Wife said no.” When executives heard the humorous anecdote, they responded by sending the man an iPad 2 with a note that said, “Apple said yes.” There’s a good chance even the man’s wife is a life-long customer now.
NORDSTROM: Customer Service Skills in the Vacuum
Nordstrom is known for and actively trains its employees in customer service. It was one of the founding principles of the company that began as a shoe store in Washington in 1901. More than a century late, tales of quality customer service from all employees continue to “wow” customers. When a customer lost the diamond from her wedding ring while trying on clothes, it was a security staff member and two building-services workers who helped her look, finally finding the diamond in a vacuum bag.
Each of these examples is a story of customer service that occurred reactively. What are some ways you can create memorable experiences proactively? You can start by learning customer names and buying patterns with the loyalty feature on Bindo’s iPad POS. Share other ideas in the comments below.