The Feel Good Moments: Celebrating Customer Service Successes

Celebrating Customer Service Successes illustration

The Feel Good Moments: Celebrating Customer Service Successes

In Hubspot’s recent The State of Customer Service in 2019 report, they mentioned the earliest recorded customer complaint from 1750 BCE. Wow. This industry has some history. Since then customer service horror stories have become comedy fodder. What about the feel good moments? In preparation for Customer Service Week we’re celebrating some customer service successes from notable companies.

Trader Joe’s – Small but Mighty

I love my local Trader Joe’s. I know many of the employees by name and they know me. The food is unique and satisfying, but I go there for the people first. They make the experience a positive, memorable one every time.

Trader Joe's display

I’m not alone in the Trader Joe’s love. Zendesk’s Repeat Customer podcast did a great episode on TJ’s that includes a song about the store written by a self proclaimed super fan. They also interviewed an author and former Marketing VP who applied for a job at Trader Joe’s just to find out why their customer experience is so successful. They are smaller than most grocery chains, but fewer choices is part of their customer service success. Another reason is they purposefully increase customer connection with employees by restocking during busy times. Also, they hire for attitude first.

Trader Joe’s doesn’t just succeed in the broad strokes, but in personal gestures too. This Kitchn article shares a story of a TJ’s cashier giving a single mom flowers on her way out of the store. Those flowers left a powerful impression that sent that customer to reddit to share her story. Other customers in turn shared similar stories. You can’t buy that kind of positive buzz. I have had that kind of experience at Trader Joe’s myself, which is another reason I’m including them as an example of customer service successes.

Give your customers an amazing experience and they willingly advertise for you.

Southwest Airlines – Going Above and Beyond

This airline carrier has been making headlines in customer service for years.  I saw the 2013 article, Southwest Airlines: A Case Study in Great Customer Service, that references treating both employees and customers well. 

In this 2016 Forbes article, Shep Hyken describes a personal experience with the airline that could have been a “moment of misery” but ended up a “moment of magic”.

Then again in 2018, Southwest was the highest ranking airline in the 2018 Temkin Experience Ratings, scoring customer experience. They have been the highest ranking airline every year save one since the Temkin Ratings started in 2011.

Southwest employees have shown exceptional empathy and willingness to go above and beyond. A great example of this is Christy, a Southwest employee who helped two customers with a generous move. An 86 year old was looking to achieve a bucket list moment with her daughter and they missed their flight. Christy made sure they got to their destination in time by gifting them her employee ‘buddy passes’. 

I’ve had some less than stellar airline experiences. Like many consumers, I’m willing to change providers when I hear of a company giving exceptional service.

Keep it Real

According to PwC’s Future of CX report 2018 bad experiences drive customers away quickly, with 32% of US respondents willing to leave a brand after one bad experience. The report also indicates the value of human connection, with 75% of respondents overall saying they “want to interact with a real person more as technology improves.”

The most compelling customer service successes I found all echoed that desire for a human experience. Empathy is an important part of customer experience success. However, like we said in our earlier blog, don’t diss the tech. Just remember to keep it real with your customers even as you expand your technical resources to serve more and more of them.

We wish you a great Customer Service Week 2019!