Great Customer Service Stories

Okay I can’t help myself when it comes to customer service. Great customer service. I love to hear examples of when a company went the extra mile to help a customer out. There are so many examples of poor to terrible customer service that it is aways so much more meaningful to hear about some great customer service stories.

Delivering great customer service indicates a lot of things are right with a company. It usually means that the company is secure enough to give a little something away. It means that employees are proud of their own company and happy to work there because they are allowed to make their customers happy. It means that they are empowered to deliver great customer service. It means that the owners love and respect their customers enough to both talk and walk the customer service experience philosophy and pass it on to the rest of the team. 

Now when you consider what it means to the customers experiencing this kind of service the benefits are endless. People love telling great customer service stories to anyone who will listen and that is better than any advertising. Sometimes your customers will even be willing to take part in your advertising by giving testimonials on your behalf. One of your customers saying good things about you is much more effective than you saying good things about yourselves.

Now for your reading enjoyment and of course inspiration are some of my favorite customer service stories:

Zappos: Delivering Happiness

Zappos, an online shoe, and clothing retailer, is often cited as a prime example of exceptional customer service. Their commitment to delivering happiness is well-known. They have a policy of offering free shipping both ways, allowing customers to return products with ease. One legendary story involves a customer service call that lasted over 10 hours, setting a Guinness World Record. The representative stayed on the line until the customer was satisfied. This level of dedication to customer satisfaction has made Zappos a renowned brand for its exceptional service.

Ritz-Carlton: The $2,000 Problem

The Ritz-Carlton is famous for its luxury service, and one story exemplifies their commitment to customer satisfaction. A guest at the Ritz-Carlton hotel lost a valuable piece of jewelry during their stay. The staff went above and beyond by launching a thorough search and eventually found the missing item. Not only did they return the jewelry promptly, but they also sent it back along with a note, a bouquet of flowers, and a $2,000 credit towards the guest’s next stay as a gesture of goodwill. This extraordinary effort illustrates the Ritz-Carlton’s dedication to exceeding customer expectations.

Nordstrom: The Tire Return

Nordstrom, a department store chain, is known for its lenient return policy. An often-cited story is that a customer returned a set of tires to a Nordstrom store, despite the fact that the store does not sell tires. The store processed the return without hesitation, even though it was clearly not their product. This commitment to customer satisfaction and their willingness to go the extra mile to accommodate their customers’ needs has made Nordstrom a customer service legend.


Amazon: The 8-Second Refund

Amazon is known for its efficient customer service. There’s a famous story where a customer accidentally purchased a book and contacted Amazon for a refund. The impressive part is that the customer received a refund within 8 seconds of sending the request, highlighting Amazon’s dedication to a seamless customer experience.

Southwest Airlines: The Birthday Surprise

A Southwest Airlines passenger tweeted that they were sad to be flying on their birthday. The airline staff noticed this and surprised the passenger with a birthday cake onboard, along with a personalized birthday card. This small gesture went viral and highlighted Southwest’s commitment to customer happiness.

Lego: Replacing Lost Pieces (my personal favorite story and company!)

Lego has a reputation for its excellent customer service, especially when it comes to replacing lost or damaged pieces. They have been known to send replacement pieces to customers free of charge, ensuring that kids can continue to enjoy their Lego sets without hassle.

Rackspace: Fanatical Support

Rackspace, a managed cloud computing company, is famous for its “Fanatical Support.” They once sent a server to a customer’s home so that he could back up his data during a hurricane. This level of dedication to customer support is legendary in the tech industry.

JetBlue: Valentine’s Day Flight

JetBlue made headlines when they offered a promotion where passengers on a particular flight could win a free return ticket if they could unanimously agree on a destination during the flight. This spontaneous and fun customer experience garnered significant attention and goodwill.

L.L. Bean: No Questions Asked Returns

L.L. Bean has a renowned return policy where they accept returns on any product, regardless of how old it is, and they do it with no questions asked. This policy has created a loyal customer base and a reputation for excellent service. (Side bar: So many people were finding old LL. Bean products like shirts at thrift stores and returning them for credit that Bean’s had to curb this policy, now you have to have a receipt)

I love these stories and I’d love to hear more. Do you have a great customer service story? Something you experienced or better yet something that your company did? Please send it to me and I’ll highlight it in a future column. It’s only common sense.