Loving Your Customers

Great customer care goes far beyond great service. It means truly caring for your customers to the point of loving them like your own family and friends.

Consider what that means. Loving your customers is not just a lofty ideal but a fundamental principle for achieving sustained business success. When companies genuinely care for their customers as they would their own family, they go beyond merely satisfying needs; they create lasting relationships based on trust, loyalty, and mutual respect. Here are several instances where companies have treated their customers like family, demonstrating the profound impact of this approach.

I have spent my life collecting great stories of customer care, which in this case means much more than mere customer service. I love these stories. I find them not only informative and educational, I find them inspirational.

This is one of my favorites.


Zappos, an online shoe and clothing retailer, is renowned for its exceptional customer service, which is deeply ingrained in its corporate culture. One of the most famous examples of Zappos treating customers like family is their willingness to go above and beyond in unexpected ways. In one instance, a customer called to return a pair of shoes because her mother had passed away, and she no longer needed them. Not only did Zappos take back the shoes, but they also sent a large bouquet of flowers to the customer to express their condolences. This act of kindness and empathy transcended the typical customer-company relationship, creating a lasting impression of care and compassion.

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines has long been recognized for its customer-centric approach, treating passengers as more than just ticket holders. One notable story involves a passenger who was flying to see his grandson for the last time as he was terminally ill. The customer was stuck in traffic and called Southwest to explain his situation. The airline held the plane for him, ensuring he could make the flight. This extraordinary measure of holding a flight demonstrated a profound understanding of the emotional needs of their customers, showing that they valued him as a person, not just a passenger.

Nordstrom’s Legendary Service

Nordstrom, a luxury department store, has a reputation for its outstanding customer service. One legendary example of treating customers like family is the story of a man who returned a set of tires to a Nordstrom store, despite the fact that Nordstrom doesn’t sell tires. Rather than turning the customer away, the store accepted the return and provided a refund. This level of service underscores Nordstrom’s commitment to customer satisfaction, prioritizing the relationship over rigid policies.

After reading this story numerous times I set out to find out if it was true; it sounded too good to be true. But after extensive research I discovered that it is indeed a true story.

Amazon’s Customer-First Philosophy 

Amazon’s customer-centric philosophy is evident in its policies and practices. One notable example is the company’s approach to handling lost or delayed deliveries. When a customer ordered a Christmas gift that got delayed, Amazon not only expedited the shipping but also refunded the purchase and provided a gift card as a gesture of goodwill. By addressing the inconvenience proactively and offering additional compensation, Amazon showed that they prioritize their customers’ experiences and happiness, much like family members who go out of their way to make things right.

Trader Joe’s Personalized Care

Trader Joe’s, the very popular grocery store chain, is known for its friendly and helpful staff. One heartwarming instance involved an elderly customer who was snowed in and unable to leave his home. When his daughter called several stores to find someone who could deliver groceries to him, Trader Joe’s, despite not typically offering delivery services, made an exception. They delivered the groceries free of charge, ensuring the elderly man had everything he needed during the snowstorm. This act of kindness reflects the company’s dedication to treating their customers with the care and concern they would show their own family.

Patagonia’s Environmental Commitment

Patagonia is an outdoor apparel company with a heart of gold. They treat their employees as well as they treat their customers and yes they treat their customers like family by aligning their values with those of its environmentally conscious customer base. Patagonia’s Worn Wear program encourages customers to buy used gear, repair old items, and trade in their gear. This initiative not only helps the environment but also builds a sense of community among customers who share the company’s values. By supporting their customers’ commitment to sustainability, Patagonia fosters a familial bond over shared values and responsibilities.

The Ritz-Carlton’s Personalized Experiences: Ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen

The Ritz-Carlton hotel chain is known for creating personalized and memorable experiences for its guests. In one notable story, a family stayed at a Ritz-Carlton resort and accidentally left behind their child’s beloved stuffed giraffe named Joshie. The hotel staff not only found Joshie but also went the extra mile by taking photos of the stuffed animal enjoying various activities around the hotel, such as lounging by the pool and working at the spa. They then sent the photos along with a letter to the child, assuring him that Joshie had a great vacation and was on his way home. This thoughtful gesture showed a deep understanding of the emotional attachment and went beyond standard customer service.

Apple’s Supportive Environment

Apple is known for its innovative products and customer service. One example of treating customers like family is seen in their approach to technical support. When a customer brought in a malfunctioning iPhone that contained precious photos of a recently deceased loved one, Apple employees worked tirelessly to recover the data, even though it was not their standard procedure. This act of dedication showed empathy and a commitment to preserving the customer’s cherished memories, reflecting a familial level of care.

I hope you enjoy these stories; these examples truly illustrate that when companies treat their customers like family, they foster deeper connections and create lasting loyalty. By going above and beyond, showing empathy, and prioritizing the well-being of their customers, these companies set themselves apart and create powerful, positive experiences that resonate on a personal level. This approach not only delights customers but also builds a robust and enduring foundation for long-term success.

How about you and your company? Do you have any stories like these? If so, please share them so I can add them to my collection. If not then, well, time’s a wastin’ so get to it!

 It’s only common sense.