Frank De Raffele
Just how good is your customer service? Here are 5 great stories that are what I would consider Gold Standard. Let us know of an experience you have had with a company or something your company has done that you are very proud of.
Morton’ Steakhouse-Formal Delivery
Author and business consultant Peter Shankman was getting ready to board a flight that was the last leg of a long day of traveling. It just happened to occur over dinnertime, and he knew he would be starving when he deplaned and headed home. “Hey, @Mortons – can you meet me at newark airport with a porterhouse when I land in two hours? K, thanks. :)” Imagine his surprise when he got off the plane to find a tuxedoed gentleman holding a bag that contained a 24 oz. Morton’s porterhouse, shrimp, potatoes, bread, napkins and silverware. Shankman noted that the Tweet had to be noticed, someone had to get approval for the idea, a cook had to make his food, the food had to be driven 23.5 miles away from the nearest Morton’s, and someone had to track down his flight information and figure out where he was landing to meet him at the right location. All while his stomach was grumbling on a 2.5-hour flight. Pretty impressive.
Ritz-Carlton Goes Above and Beyond
You’d expect a luxury hotel to have excellent customer service, but this story goes well above the expected.
“One family staying at the Ritz-Carlton, Bali, had carried specialized eggs and milk for their son who suffered from food allergies. Upon arrival, they saw that the eggs had broken and the milk had soured. The Ritz-Carlton manager and dining staff searched the town but could not find the appropriate items. But the executive chef at this particular resort remembered a store in Singapore that sold them. He contacted his mother-in-law, and asked that she buy the products and fly to Bali to deliver them, which she agreed to do.”
A Redditor’s 89-year-old grandfather got snowed in a couple years ago and didn’t have much in the house for meals. His daughter called several markets in the area to see if any of them had grocery delivery services, but the only one that said they did was Trader Joe’s. They don’t, actually, but were willing to help out this WWII vet. As the man’s daughter placed an order, the Trader Joe’s representative on the phone recommended other items that would be good for her dad’s low-sodium diet. An up-sell, you may be asking? Nope. They didn’t charge her a dime for the delivery or the groceries.
Gaylord Opryland ‘WOWs’ a Repeat Customer
It doesn’t take a slew of consumer data (although we’ve shared plenty of it) to support the argument that your regular customers are your rock. As such, taking care of them is not just the right thing to do. It’s also good for business.
Consider the case of regular Gaylord Opryland hotel customer Christina McMenemy, who stayed at the resort three years in a row for the annual BlissDom conference.
During each stay McMenemy found herself entranced by one of the features in her hotel room–an alarm clock that played light music; as in, the kind that you’d experience in a highend spa.
McMenemy says, “You probably think I’m insane to obsess over a clock radio.” But, her rationale for her fondness for this item was that she had never slept better than she did while using it.
For three years McMenemy tried to find the exact model clock from her hotel room, but to no avail. McMenemy had nearly given up hope when she messaged the company’s Twitter page during her most recent trip to Opryland.
Resigned to her fate, she attended the conference and let the alarm clock hunt go.
But upon returning to her room she was surprised to find not one but two spa clocks and a letter with her name on it.
Opryland recognized an opportunity to make sure a long-time customer had one of the best experiences ever. And they didn’t just win a customer for life; they also bought plenty of goodwill with folks at the conference (and beyond) who subsequently heard about the story.
SOUTHWEST AIRLINES (This is a HUGE Wow!)
While these other stories have been nice, this one might actually make you teary (it made me teary, and I’m a hard sell). A man was en route from a business trip in L.A. to his daughter’s home in Denver to see his three-year-old grandson for the last time. The boy, beaten into a coma by his mother’s live-in boyfriend, was being taken off of life support at 9 p.m. that evening so his organs could be used to save other lives. The man’s wife called Southwest to arrange the last-minute flight and explained the emergency situation. Unfortunately, the man was held up by L.A. traffic and long lines at LAX and didn’t make it to the gate on time. When he finally made it there 12 minutes after the plane was scheduled to leave, he was shocked to find the pilot waiting for him. He thanked the pilot profusely, and the pilot said, “They can’t go anywhere without me, and I wasn’t going anywhere without you. Now relax. We’ll get you there. And again, I’m so sorry.”