We care about our customers! Service with a smile! Businesses say things they don’t really mean all the time. Special giveaways and exclusive offers are often riddled with fine print and asterisks, and claims of outstanding service are made but not acted upon.
You see, customer service isn’t as simple as offering more for less or bombarding your customers with a never-ending stream of promises—customer service is about action. It’s about problem solving, quick thinking, creativity and, most importantly, commitment.
Making promises without ever intending to follow through on them is easy. I do it all the time. Here’s an example:
Of course, I’ll get onto that straight away.
Did I follow up with John? Oh, yeah, I’m on my way to see him right now.
You see? Easy. What isn’t easy is actually following through on your promises.
Here are a few examples of customer service that did just that:
Streets and Qantas Send Ice Creams to America
Golden Gaytime and Cornetto ice creams are two (delicious) quintessentially Australian things. So you can imagine the pain Adam Moussa, an Australian expat living in New York, felt when these two holy desserts were merged together, creating the Gaynetto.
Luckily for Adam, Streets and Qantas teamed up to give him his just desserts, as they arranged to send a box filled with Gaynettos and dry ice across the Pacific Ocean to New York. Thankfully, the Gaynettos arrived safe and sound and Adam avoided his panic attack.
Samsung Dragon Phone
Getting free stuff is one of the greatest joys in life—I once found an onion ring mixed in with my fries and almost had a heart attack. For some, the thrill of randomly receiving things for free is enough. For others—specifically Shane Bennett—it’s a case of ask and you shall receive.
Although Shane’s request was most likely just a little light-hearted fun, his exchange with Samsung went viral after being posted on Reddit. So much so, that Samsung saw fit to gift Shane his very own Galaxy S III, custom-made with his dragon design.
It all started with a simple request: “Hey, @Mortons – can you meet me at newark airport [sic] with a porterhouse when I land in two hours? K, thanks. :)” Tweeted Peter Shankman before boarding the last leg of a day’s flying. Much to Mr Shankman’s (which, in its own right, would be a fantastic name for a steakhouse) surprise, he was greeted at the airport gate with a porterhouse, shrimp, potatoes, bread, napkins and silverware, hand-delivered by a man in a tuxedo.
Big deal, right? There was probably a Morton’s in the airport. Wrong! In order for this piece of medium rare customer service brilliance to come to fruition, Mr Shakman’s tweet had to be received, approved by Morton’s management, his steak had to be cooked, his flight information had to be tracked down, and then the food had to be driven 23.5 miles from the nearest Morton’s location.
Why It Matters
You may be thinking that all of these examples are unrealistic, once-in-a-lifetime occurrences, and you may very well be right. The point to all of this, however, is that excellent customer service isn’t all about the occasional grandiose gesture, no, it’s about the enthusiastic, customer-first manner in which all of these gestures were carried out.
Customers are the lifeblood of any business. Occasionally some customers may make requests that seem unreasonable. However, more often than not, it’s simply a matter of taking a step back to evaluate the situation and find a creative solution.