Evolving from a trivial non-issue that companies used to offer nonchalantly, customer service has now become the stronghold of many a business strategy today. The customer has never been as empowered as they are now; they expect bigger, cleaner, better and brighter every time they do business with you.
Here are some quick stats to prove my point. Did you know that over 80% of customers (https://www.superoffice.com/blog/crm-charts/) are more likely to leave your brand FOR LIFE because of the service they get as opposed to high pricing? In fact, 86% of consumers report that they would actually pay more for a better experience (http://winthecustomer.com/86-percent-of-u-s-adults-will-pay-more-for-a-better-customer-experience/) while 74% said it was friendly customer service that made them absolutely fall in love with all aspects of a brand.
In previous blog posts, Veloxy has already explained what good customer service entails and even shared a few tips on how to enhance customer experience. The only setback is that bad news travels faster than good news. So in addition to having great customer service, your brand needs to constantly create remarkable and memorable acts of outstanding customer experiences to remain relevant. In today’s segment, we’ll be looking at examples of companies and brands that went above and beyond the call of duty to please their customers – effort and expenses be damned!
Examples of Exceptional Customer Service
1: Morton’s Steakhouse – Surprise Delivery
The story of Peter Shankman might just be the best customer service tale ever told to date. The avid steak lover and frequenter of Morton’s Steakhouse was boarding a 5 pm flight from Tampa to Newark. Feeling a bit peckish, Shankman couldn’t stop picturing a juicy steak and jokingly tweeted @Morton’s if they could meet him at Newark airport with a porterhouse when he lands.
Shankman couldn’t believe his eyes when he got to Newark airport. Clad in a fine tuxedo was one of Morton’s own who hands Peter a bag and proceeds to say he heard someone was hungry and could use a pick me up. Inside the Morton’s bag was a 24oz porterhouse steak, some colossal shrimp, a side of potatoes, bread, silverware and napkins.
Understand this – Not only was Peter joking in his tweet, but the nearest Morton’s is 23 miles away from Newark airport. This means that someone in Corporate had to have seen the tweet, gotten authorization, contacted the nearest Morton’s and placed the order. Then it all had to be cooked, boxed, and delivered 23 miles away in less than 3 hours! In Shankman’s own words, customer service is no longer about telling people how great you are, it’s about creating amazing moments for your customers time and time again.
2: Warby Parker – Double the Service
Here’s another example that shows what a brand can achieve when management is directly involved in customer service. One of Warby Parker’s most famous customer service incidents involved a customer (John) who left his glasses on a train. Lucky for him, his seatmate was a former Warby Parker (WP) General Counsel.
After a few days, John got an unexpected package containing not one, but two pairs of WP glasses and a copy of Jack Kerouac’s ‘On The Road’. There was also a note explaining that the GC of Warby Parker sat across John on a train and noticed he left his glasses. Not only did he send him a spare pair, he also fixed a few scratches on the lens for his old pair! Aside from that isolated incident, WP also has great customer service. Their site includes a fun quiz and has plenty of glasses frames, types and designs. Customers can also choose up to 5 different options to try out at home completely free of charge.
3: The Ritz-Carlton Hotel – No Resources Spared
Moving away from individual cases of memorable customer experiences, The Ritz Carlton Hotel’s service policies remain the stuff of legends. Plenty of stories about satisfied customers have even made it into books. The Ritz’s commitment to outstanding and memorable customer service is so strong that all employees are authorized to spend up to $2000 a day to enhance and improve their guests’ experience.
One such case of the Ritz providing exceptional service was the story of author DiJulius who unknowingly left his laptop charger at a guest room. Before he could even call to enquire about it, he received a next day air package with from Ritz loss prevention. In the package were two chargers with a note saying that they wanted to get this to him right away in case he needed it, and even included an extra charger in case it happens again. This just goes to show how devoting monetary resources to help employees create moments of delight can go a long way.
4: Tesla – Service Where You’re At
One well known fact about Tesla is that they literally meet the customer where they are at and fix any issues whatsoever with their vehicles. Not only is this incredibly quick for the customer, but the convenience of extreme onsite service beats spending hours at a repair shop. What’s more, the house calls can be scheduled at the customer’s leisure to avoid any timing related snafus.
While onsite service is nothing new, Tesla has gone to great lengths to meet their customers in plenty of different locations. And although they may not always manage to physically meet every single customer, their omni channel feedback and versatile customer options allow customers to contact them is a way that’s most convenient for them. The reason Tesla made it in Veloxy’s list is because of their high prices. Yep, they’re evidence enough that customers value their time and convenience – and are willing to pay substancially more for it.
5: Adobe – Pre-emptive Crisis Management
One of the main pillars of customer support is effective crisis management. The ability to respond to customer complaints before they happen is what sets aside the professionals from the amateurs. When Adobe had a system outage due to issues with Amazon, they immediately tweeted about it before a single complaint came in. But it’s not what they said, it’s how they said it.
Adobe tweeted a gif of the cutest puppy stampede which effectively lightened the mood and served as a happy distraction. So while there were a few comments on the downtime, most people generally focused on the video and patiently waited for the services to resume. By acknowledging the issue beforehand, Adobe let the customers know that they knew there was a problem and were already working on it. After all, many customers can appreciate technological issues and software glitches.
6: Virgin Atlantic Airlines – Bad Customer? Nonsense!
As a universally accepted truth, you can’t please all the people all the time. However, your response to unhappy customers is what matters most. Virgin brands excel at using complaints and negative feedback to bond with their customers. As Richard Branson puts it, a complaint is a gift – a disguised chance to bring customers closer and turn them into lifelong friends.
In one famous incident, a customer in first class ordered what he later described as a dreadful Indian themed meal. The passenger wrote a letter (with ghastly photos) that was both hilarious and disturbing in equal measure. He described one of the food items as a miscellaneous central cuboid of beige matter and claimed that the mashed potatoes resembled something out of the digestive tract of a bird. But what’s impressive is how Branson replied. Not only did he invite the passenger to help overhaul Virgin’s menu, he also invited him to be on the airline’s culinary board – A prime example of turning a complaint into an opportunity for both improvement, and marketing.
As we conclude, it’s obvious that customer service is becoming more than the name suggest. In today’s highly competitive culture, it’s more about creating memorable experiences than just giving customers what they came for. Not only will outstanding customer service help you attract, retain and nurture customers, it’ll also help your business stand out – and get a ton of free publicity if you’re lucky.
But it’s not just about good PR; stats show that the more you impress people, the more they turn into raving fans of your brand helping you attract even more new customers. Here at Veloxy, we’re also dedicated to creating great customer experiences for both our customers and yours. Keep track of your customers today and know what they are thinking with the help of Veloxy Mobile and Veloxy Inbox. Veloxy helps companies make the most out of Salesforce by tracking customer behavior, analyzing their habits and recommending a course of action that will likely hit home with the particular customer.