What are the characteristics of a customer service-focused company? Business owners have asked themselves this question, spent hours researching it, and maybe thousands of dollars trying to answer it. There’s no question that companies who master customer service enjoy success in other areas of their business – including customer longevity and brand loyalty. Take a look at what the companies below are doing to show that they understand what it takes to deliver outstanding customer service.
Think of your favorite restaurant. What makes it special? The authentic recipes or that the owner can call you by name? Whatever the case is, you expect a consistently positive experience. Soldier Shawn Fulker hoped for the best when he ordered a pizza from Afghanistan for his wife’s birthday. While not your typical order, a Mellow Mushroom location in Jacksonville, Fla., saw it as an opportunity to deliver more than just pizza. The employees created a large pepperoni pizza in the shape of a heart and showed up at Mrs. Fulker’s door with flowers and balloons to wish her happy birthday in style.
Their gesture cost less than $100, but it gained them national attention, respect, and at least two customers for life.
Takeaway: Don’t forget the small things, and remember that giving people a human experience won’t break your budget.
Know Your Audience
LEGO is well known for decades of entertaining kids and adults. From the Muppets to Star Wars, there isn’t much the toy company has left un-LEGOed. It recently added ‘fulfilling personal requests from seven year olds’ to its list. After losing one of his treasured LEGO figures, Luka Apps emailed the company in hopes of having it replaced. A customer service team member sent an entertaining response that included approval of two new minifigures. You can read the full exchange here.
Takeaway: Building brand loyalty starts with knowing who your customers are and meeting them where they are.
A $47 cup of coffee sounds ridiculous – even for Starbucks. However, when Beau Chevassus placed an order that combined a concoction of 48 shots of espresso, chocolate, mango and several other items – he fully intended on paying. What he didn’t expect was for it to be on the house. The location in Enumclaw, Wash., gave the drink to Beau for his birthday free of charge. Chevassus has probably recovered from the multiple espressos and there’s a good chance that he’ll be making many future trips to Starbucks.
Takeaway: Do something nice and worthwhile every once in a while.
Do the Unexpected
When marketing professional and consultant, Peter Shankman, Tweeted Morton’s Steakhouse about delivering a porterhouse steak to the Newark airport, it was more than half a joke. To his surprise and that of much of the Internet, Shankman landed in Newark, N.J., and was greeted with a steak dinner. The restaurant only had 2.5 hours to make a decision, prepare the meal, and deliver it. The result was a win for everyone involved, with lots of news coverage and even more social media love for Morton’s.
Takeaway: Remain agile and be open to opportunities when they present themselves.
The customer service surveys that we design and deploy at NBRI are the best way to find out what your customers want from your business. We will help you establish a customer service improvement plan based upon the results of your initial survey. Then, we recommend that you resurvey periodically to monitor the results of you improvement initiatives. Let us help you be more successful by learning about your customer base – contact us today.