5 Service Stories that have to be Shared
One of the reasons companies should stop considering customer service as a necessary cost entity is because unique service experiences have the power to go viral. Probably all of us experience an extraordinary service delivery once in a while, deliveries that couldn't possibly be cost effective if the companies would offer them to all of their customers.
However, with a little luck and good timing, the ones experiencing these deliveries are influential persons that will share it among their followers and friends and create a viral story out of it. Take a look at 5 great customer service deliveries that drove viral marketing coverage:
Four Seasons Hotels
Four Seasons Hotels are a luxury chain of hotels with accommodation in every corner of the world such as Mauritius, China, London and the USA. This particular case comes from the Four Seasons in Boston, USA. Picture the scene: it's 4AM, you're checking out for an early morning flight and it soon becomes apparent that some of your luggage is locked in your rental car. You have to make a decision: wait for the company to come out and unlock the car, thus missing your flight, or catch your flight and leave your luggage behind to be sent to you.
In this case, the man decides to catch his flight, telling the young lady on reception to send his luggage out to him when the car company arrives to open the vehicle. Once he leaves, the receptionist is able to contact the car company who can remotely unlock the rental car. Going the extra mile, she retrieves the luggage from the car and drives herself to the airport to hand over the luggage to the grateful, yet shocked customer who is at the gate ready to board his flight. This simple act of kindness (it took the employee 15 minutes to drive to the airport) meant that the customer saved a fortune on expensive cross-country shipping costs. Video
Apple is the most famous technology company in the world. You are unable to sit on the bus, in the office or go to the supermarket without seeing someone tap away on their Apple iPhone or on their Macbook Pro. As a result, their customer service department must be extremely busy, so you'd forgive them for trying to deal with each query as quickly as possible. Well, this case study comes from England where a young man is experiencing problems with his Macbook laptop. It has broken three times due to the same problem and the man is tired of it. Begrudgingly, he calls the Applecare line, not expecting much.
As anticipated, the advisor offers him a repair. He doesn't really want a repair, as this is the third time the same problem has happened. Not a problem. Apple agrees to send him out a brand new laptop, and not just any laptop. The man is offered an upgrade of his choice, and given the chance to go away and think about which one he wants. This simple response delights the man, leaving him to go to Youtube and share this happy experience with the world. Video
AT&T is a mobile phone network operator. This tale is truly remarkable. We know that there is nothing more annoying than breaking your phone- something that the man in this video begins by saying. He drops his phone and smashes the screen, but it still works- so just a minor inconvenience. Then, he drops it again and it breaks completely. Now, you'd be forgiven for thinking 'no ones fault but his own', which it is. So, curiosity gets the better of him and he takes his phone into his local AT&T store to see if he can get a replacement.
As expected, because the damage is his fault, he cannot. The customer care phone line says the same thing. Yet, a few days later, someone higher up in the company calls him to let him know that she is looking into getting him the replacement. Lo and behold, a few days later the man is the proud owner of a brand new Samsung Galaxy phone. Never happier, in the video the man proclaims he will be an AT&T customer for life. That is the reason why good customer service can help a business. Video
Clarisonic is known for its skincare products. The most famous, is an electronic cleanser which has several modes for effective cleansing and exfoliating. This story is really simple but is a nice example of a company taking care of it's customers long after the sale. A woman is perfectly happy with her Clarisonic cleanser for two years, until it begins switching to 'body mode' of its own accord. Due to the fact that she has owned it for two years, she does not have a receipt, so calls customer service not expecting much.
She is met with a simple response of an apology about the defect and the offer of a replacement one once she provided them with the serial number found on the bottom of the product. Simple. Effective. Another customer taking to social media to praise the company, and is sure to recommend to her friends. Video
The storyteller is a customer service speaker at conferences, and that is where he is recounting the story. He sets the scene: he, his wife and two young daughters are halfway through a day at Disneyland, tired and wondering what to do next. They are approached by a Disney maintenance man, who cheerily offers to help them find their next 'Disney adventure'. He points them in the direction of the Beauty and the Beast show, lets them know the start time and tells them to get there early to avoid the queue. He then turns his attention to the two little girls and asks them have they met Mickey Mouse yet?
They have not. So, he tells them to wait under a certain palm tree, where Mickey will be coming out to meet & greet in five minutes, so they don't have to wait. An excellent example of customer service from Disney. This man did not have a customer facing role, yet he took the time out to help the guests out by making them feel at home at Disneyland. It worked, of course, because now the customer in question is telling the tale at one of his conferences as an example of great customer service. Video
These examples show that it can pay off to incur some extra costs once in a while for an outstanding service delivery. Empower your service employees with a few 'wildcards', occasions in which they are allowed to go out of their way and invest an extraordinary amount of time and money into delivering an extraordinary service. It will pay you back in customer referrals, and maybe one day you’ll have a viral service story yourself.
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