Customer service agent’s job is difficult, let us be honest. You have to know the product, company’s procedures and a couple of different systems. You have to be a silver-tongued source of empathy. And on top of that - there they are: the customers. The number one pain point for every customer service rep.
But is working in customer service all doom and gloom?
Since today is the Valentine’s Day, let’s focus on the bright side of this job! Working in customer service means that you can solve people’s problems, show them kindness and make their days better! Just how awesome is that?
Today, I’m presenting you five heartwarming, best customer service stories to inspire you this Valentine’s Day.
Customer story #1: Southwest Airlines
The most amazing customer service story I read has its roots in a great tragedy.
It’s the story of a man who received a devastating information that his three-year-old grandson was beaten up to death by his mother’s boyfriend. A boy, who was in a coma, was supposed to be taken off life support at 9 p.m. next evening so his organs could be used to save lives.
But it also meant that his grandfather had very little time to tell him goodbye for the last time. The thing was, the man had to get from L.A. to Tucson and then take a flight to Denver. Luckily his wife called Southwest and was able to arrange the last-minute flight after she explained the emergency situation.
He showed up at the airport for two hours before the flight, but it turned out to be not enough. Unfortunately, LAX was exceptionally crowded that day and man was held up by long lines. When he finally made it to the gate, he was 12 minutes late.
We all know how strict are airlines if comes to be punctual. Every second counts when you’re an airline, because hundreds of people rely on you and expect you to be on time. But what happens here was that the pilot refused to take off without having the man on board.
The plane was supposed to take off at 11:50, it finally took off at 12:02. The man walked down the jetway to speak to the pilot and said that he cannot thank him enough for this. The pilot responded:
They can’t go anywhere without me and I wasn’t going anywhere without you. Now relax. We’ll get you there. And again, I’m so sorry.
It’s hard to overestimate the courage of this pilot. He could have lost his job! Luckily, it all turned good for him as the airline supported his decision and said that they were proud of him. A beautiful story with a happy ending!
Customer story #2: Zappos
Zappos is well-known for their above-and-beyond customer service, but this story is exceptionally awesome.
It’s a story of a woman who had a medical treatment that left her feet numb and very sensitive. Since most of the shoes turned out to be too painful to wear, she decided to order six pairs from Zappos, hoping that any of them could work.
After she had received the shoes, she called Zappos to get instructions on how to return the shoes and explained why she had to return them.
Two days later, she received a large bouquet of flowers from Zappos with recovery wishes and a “Zappos VIP Members” card for her, her sister and her daughter. This card gave them free shipping on all orders.
Customer story #3: Trader Joe’s
A couple of years ago, an 89-year-old customer was snowed in, so he wasn’t able to drive and buy food. His daughter, worrying about him, called several markets asking for delivery. Unfortunately, but no one agreed since there was a storm coming.
She ended up calling markets that usually do not deliver goods and, to her surprise, Trader Joe's staff agreed to do that.
During the phone call, Trader Joe’s employees helped to choose low-sodium products, completed the order, informed that there would be no charge for it and ended the call by saying “Merry Christmas!” The food was delivered 30 minutes after the call.
In the end, the whole story almost immediately turned viral, bringing a lot of attention and words of appreciation to Trader Joe’s. But what’s much more important here is that by showing compassion and empathy, market’s employees made someone’s holidays very special.
Customer story #4: Barbarahof Hotel
Here’s my personal story of great customer experience. Over a year ago, I won a weekly stay for two in the Austrian Alps. Unfortunately, because I broke knee ligaments, I was not able to use the voucher on time.
I emailed Barbarahof Hotel and explained my situation, asking if I could use the voucher after its validation date. As a response, I received an email that I’m welcomed to come anytime I want.
I quickly booked my stay and one day I’ve packed my stuff, sent an email that I’m going to arrive around midnight and I set off to Austria. I arrived at 2 a.m.
I was sure that there must be someone at the reception desk, so when I saw that the hotel was dark and quiet, a cool shiver went down my spine. I was the middle of the night, everything was closed and it was very, very cold.
Then, suddenly, I saw that at the window’s frame that there’s an envelope sticked to the wall. I took a closer look and I saw “MRS. POLACZYK” written on it. I opened it with disbelief and I found keys and a letter from the reception desk!
They informed me what’s the number of my room and asked to check-in on the next morning.
It turned out that the reception did not get my email as I sent it to a wrong address. As they were working from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and had no idea at what time I could appear, they decided to leave keys to the room outside in an envelope, hoping that I would find it!
I heard about many examples of exceptional customer service and going an extra mile for a customer, but this story is the best one that ever happened to me.
Customer story #5: Wendy’s
It’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words, so let me just leave here this picture. It was taken by Wendy’s customer who hid in his car to avoid getting wet in the rain. What he saw, was Wendy’s employee, who removed an umbrella from a table to walk an elderly man to his car.
How little it takes to show kindness and make someone’s life better!
Be a part of a best customer service story too
We all know how difficult it is to work in customer service. It’s not because the job is bad itself, but it’s difficult to deal with people is. We all have our bad days and instead of being kind to each other, we vent on others to clear our frustrations. It’s not something we should be proud of, but it’s normal.
When it happens to you, when you come across such a rude customer, it’s important that you know it’s not your fault they are behaving this way and that you shouldn’t feel bad about it. These customers are just people that can’t cope with their emotions.
My Valentine advice for today is: don’t focus on bad situations and angry customers, be proud of what you do and take the opportunity to make the world better. You don’t have to be a pilot and stop a plane, every single smile on customer’s face is your great achievement.
As long as you’re not afraid to show kindness to people you meet every day, you can be sure that you’ll become a part of someone’s best customer service story too.
Wendy's photo by Reddit user EssMarksTheSpot. Trader Joe's picture via Creative Commons by Phillip Pessar Follow.