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Incredible Acts of Customer Service Inspire Incredible Customer Loyalty

What’s the most incredible act of customer service you have ever performed for a customer, and did it inspire their undying loyalty? In this story by Peter Shankman, he recounts how after a long travel day he boarded a plane, tired and hungry. As a joke, he tweeted out to Morton’s steakhouse to please have a Porterhouse waiting for him at the airport when he landed. Of course he was not expecting any response, but guess what? At the airport Morton’s was there, waiting for him with a Porterhouse.

 

Shoe purveyor Zappos is also well-known for its great customer service. When this blogger’s mother was suffering from health issues and related problems with her feet, she had to return some shoes to Zappos and ended up getting into a long conversation with the customer service agent. The customer service person sent a bouquet of flowers to the mother and gave the mother, daughter and sister VIP memberships. The sister vowed to buy every pair of shoes from Zappos from then on.

 

And there’s the famous example of Southwest Airlines holding a plane flight for a grandfather who was flying to Denver to see his three-year old grandchild who had been beaten to death by his daughter’s live-in boyfriend, and who was scheduled to be taken off life support that night. When the grandfather arrived at the gate twelve minutes late for his flight he was shocked to find the plane still there. The pilot said, “They can’t go anywhere without me and I wasn’t going anywhere without you.” Cost of delaying flight: who knows and who cares? The knowledge that Southwest did the right thing and the amount of goodwill it created: priceless.

 

Of course, you don’t have to be a restaurant, retailer or an airline to provide outstanding customer service. Opportunities exist every day in your dealership. When was the last time you dealt with an upset customer or noticed that a customer seemed stressed? What did you do? Did you avoid them, get defensive, or did you ask questions so you would understand their concerns, stresses, problems or fears? Then did you go out of your way to provide a service that was above and beyond what was expected?

Views: 238

Tags: customer, loyalty, repeat, retention, sales, service

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Comment by Mike Gorun on June 4, 2012 at 11:48am

Thanks everyone for your comments.

Clifford - These are wonderful examples of how dealers can be providing incredible customer service! I think these opportunities surround us, we just aren't paying attention or we lack the initiative to act on the ideas we develop or we're too afraid of what it might do to our bottom line. But you can bet that one bucket of chicken didn't even come close to hurting the bottom line for that fried chicken restaurant, but making you a loyal lifetime customer will definitely help their profits!

Comment by John L Mecham on May 31, 2012 at 8:33am

Great post.  This short story sums up the Holy Grail of achieving customer satisfaction and retention.  It does not come from a "program" or cookies in the waiting room.  It comes from doing the right thing and doing unto others as you would have done unto your self with gusto and sincerity.  If we all did this, we all would all love what we do in our various jobs and retain all our customers..

Comment by Clifford VanMeter on May 31, 2012 at 6:06am

We have the opportunity to create fans-for-life of non-customers as well. I got pulled over recently for having a tail-light out on my truck. I was parked right across from a local fried chicken place. While the officer was writing me up, an employee came out to my truck carrying an 8-piece bucket, gave it to me and said, "It looked like you were having a rough day. We hope this makes it better." 

No more KFC for me, ever -- and I've probably told this story to 25 people already (many more now). So, lately I've been compiling a list of "chicken ideas". My latest? Umbrellas. I drive past 8-10 bus stops on my way to work. It rains a lot in SW Michigan (it was raining this morning). I'm ordering umbrellas with the company logo and web address so I can stop and give them out at bus stops on rainy days. 

_____________________________________

Clifford VanMeter

Marketing Coordinator

Express Auto

www.expressauto.com

Comment by Tom Gorham on May 31, 2012 at 5:54am

Think about the consideration you show your friends and family (you do of course, right?) and then provide that same consideration to your customers.  Great customer service follows naturally.  Great post!  Thank you!

Comment by Leonard Buchholz on May 31, 2012 at 5:29am

Great Post! Memorable Customer Service starts with one person that Cares. Thanks for the share. 

Comment by Ralph Paglia on May 30, 2012 at 11:33pm

This blog post captures the essence of what separates companies that drive loyalty with lower pricing and those that drive loyalty with acts of customer service that are remembered for a lifetime.  I am a loyal Southwest Airlines, Marriott Hotel, Hertz Rental Car and American Express customer because of experiences i have had with those companies that are similar to those described in this article.

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