Everyone loves a good customer service success story. In the digital age these stories often find their way online where customers show an appreciation for the relevant brand, a great form of positive sentiment. This type of publicity, word-of-mouth, is one of the most powerful forms of attention a business can attain. Consumers trust personal stories, and with the ability to place positive customer stories online, businesses who offer great customer service will ultimately come out on top.
If you’re on the path to reviving your customer service, or just looking for ways to improve, here are some Inspirational Customer Experience Stories written in collaboration with Merchants, to inspire your business success.
Sainsbury’s takes advice
This might be a well-known story but it certainly is a good one. In 2011, three-year-old Lily Robinson wrote to the large supermarket chain, Sainsbury’s, advising them that the pattern on their tiger bread actually looked far more like the pattern of a giraffe. After receiving the letter, Chris King, in Sainsbury’s customer service team, decided she was right and, due to a large amount of feedback about the very same thing, decided to rename the bread to giraffe bread.
While businesses can’t act on every suggestion customers make, it’s always vital to acknowledge them. And if suggestions about the same thing are pouring in, perhaps it’s a good idea to look into it and see if it can be done. Consumers enjoy being heard, and even more so if a business decides to take on their advice.
Starbucks goes the extra mile
In 2016, a Starbucks barista in Virginia decided to make a deaf customer’s life easier by taking sign language lessons. The customer was a regular in the coffee shop, and had been relying on his mobile phone to type out his order to show the baristas. One day the customer arrived and the barista asked for his order in sign language so that he could place the order without having to take out his phone.
While a small gesture to some, the customer was blown away and was able to communicate in a way natural to him. No matter what type of business you run, ensure you hire people who care about offering a customer service that goes the extra mile when necessary.
Spotify gets personal
After Spotify customer, Jelena Woehr, sent the entertainment streaming service some positive feedback, she received a personalised “thank you” second to none. She was sent a personalised playlist created for her by the Spotify customer service team, with each song title spelling out a thank you note.
“Jelena/You Are Awesome/Thanks a Lot/For These Words/It Helps Me/Impress/The Management.”
Personalisation is key to offering effective customer service. And while your team may not always have the time to create personalised thank yous to each and every customer, it certainly goes a long way if it can be done. Once again, it acknowledges a customer, making them feel heard and understood.
Tesla provides swift action
When Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, was tagged in a tweet by a frustrated customer, he took the opportunity to take swift action on a recurring problem. Loic Le Meur tweeted about the lack of supercharger spots available to charge his car, due to users keeping their cars parked in the spots even if they weren’t being charged. Musk replied on the same day and told the customer something would soon be done. Almost a week later, Tesla implemented a fee of $0.40 for every minute a car was parked at a charging station after the car’s battery was fully charged. Drivers are given a five-minute grace period.
CEOs are naturally very busy people, and Musk could easily have taken the issue to his customer service department and told them to deal with it. Sometimes a reply from the top makes all the difference to get an issue resolved quickly and efficiently. As a business owner or CEO, you won’t be able to reply to all tweets or messages, but sometimes a direct message from the top is necessary. If this type of behaviour is visible with senior leadership, it’s also more likely to filter down within the business.
Whether your customer service team is in-house or you make use of business process outsourcing and your team is external, these stories are sure to inspire. While these stories may not directly relate to the type of business you run, the principles are universal. Those who foster a positive and personalised relationship with customers will improve their customer service and, in turn, customers will be eager to share their experiences online and with the world.