Technology changes, but human nature is perpetual—and there are few things in life and in business that we love more than seeing one person taking care of another.
We’ve covered a few of our favorites in the past, but there are thousands of fine folks who love taking care of customers as readers of this blog, and we’re in a great position to put the spotlight on a few more feel-good stories that deserve some extra attention.
So you know where that leads us—read on and enjoy 10 more stories of businesses and their star service reps who went the extra mile for their customers.
1. Under Wendy’s Umbrella
This is a bit of a “drive-through” (pun regretfully intended) tale that I wish I had more information on.
Posted on Reddit without any additional details or a follow-up, the submitter was at least able to capture a really heartwarming moment: amidst a pretty harsh rainstorm, a Wendy’s employee went outside, removed the umbrella from one of the tables, and walked an elderly man to his car.
2. The Pom-Pom Pearl Fan Club
Who would’ve thought that you’d be seeing two tales of exceptional service from fast food companies?
While a boisterous personality isn’t for everyone, it’s hard to resist “Pom-Pom” Pearl Weaver’s charm and enthusiasm. The 89-year-old Arby’s employee drew fans from all around, and even the local press gave some well-deserved attention to a woman who was truly passionate about making people’s day:
"Whenever anyone—young and old alike—steps up to the counter, Weaver waves a blue-and-white pompom and chirps "Hi everybody, welcome to Arby's!"
"She's fantastic," said the store's general manager Christian Stakes said. "I don't want to diminish what she does, but she's the mascot. If she's off for a week, people ask about her."
3. A Netflix Live Chat Treasure
Taking the customer service tone to the front lines, this next example from a Netflix employee is best if you read the full thing for yourself below.
Here’s the entire screenshot of a Netflix customer who contacted support via their live chat. He definitely walked away with a great story to tell:
Kudos to Michael for trying something a little different and for rolling with whatever came next thanks to an equally hilarious customer.
4. Praise Be to Gaben
Valve Software and its loveable leader Gabe Newell have definitely been a recent topic of discussion in our team chat room.
Their fearless leader Gabe (often affectionately referred to in the PC gaming community as “Gaben”) has to be one of the most responsive CEOs when it comes to talking with his fans. He always seems to have time for his customers, no matter how big Valve gets.
This next story comes from a longtime fan of Valve and their highly popular games. Here’s what happened according to the customer:
"Last year, it was almost my birthday. I sent Gabe Newell an e-mail saying that I loved all of his games and that it would make my year if he would autograph a piece of paper and send it to me.
A week or so later I got an e-mail from the manager of merchandise. He had said that they were sending something my way. I used the tracking number he provided and found that the package weighed close to 4 pounds. I was so damn excited.
Finally, it's two days before my birthday. The package has come in the mail. I open up to find not only a Portal mouse pad signed by the Gaben himself, but a copy of the book The Sacrifice with a ton of signatures from Valve employees. Needless to say it made my life."
Valve certainly attracts some crazy passionate fans, but Gabe always finds a way to be a man of the people, and he is without a doubt one of the best sources of inspiration for CEOs everywhere.
5. Coupon Conundrum
Despite my fondness for the occasional debonair pink tie, my closet is pretty standard. Still, I find myself constantly browsing Reddit’s Male Fashion Advice for the candid tales of great service in the ecommerce space.
One of my favorites actually comes from a larger company, J. Crew. Told in this thread by an appreciative customer, here’s the long and short of what happened:
J. Crew has a Factory page where new arrivals are sold in very limited amounts. During a particular sale there, a customer used a “one-time” coupon during checkout, but he accidentally cancelled the order after placing it.
With the coupon now wasted, the customer decided to email support. J. Crew told the customer that they would gladly hold the order with the coupon applied; the customer would just have to call to confirm the order (due to the limited supply).
The customer wasn’t able to call until the next day, and by that time, the original items ordered were sold out. To his surprise, the customer was contacted by a support rep, who stayed on the line with him to pick out similar items from the regular J. Crew site, and at checkout, the support rep applied the closest Factory prices and the original coupon for the customer.
Needless to say, the customer was ecstatic:
"I am blown away by the lengths they made to make me happy when I wasn't upset in the first place, and even considered the mistake was on my end. I highly recommend J Crew now just because of their customer service. They could not have been more kind and accommodating."
One of the best takeaways from the thread comes from a comment made by a former employee:
"As a (former) employee they gave us a lot of leeway to keep the customer happy…"
6. Jack Threads & Jill
A customer service rep named Jill—fitting since she worked at JackThreads—has managed to win me over despite the fact that I’ve only ever seen her words on a screen. See for yourself; I wish I had a larger image, but below is a conversation Jill had with a customer dealing with a defective product:
Look closely at the language she uses and how the conversation gets personal, but not intruding.
7. The Aloha Bear
It’s always nice to see outstanding service recognized by a happy customer. In a heartwarming story shared on Reddit, a service rep tells the tale of an older customer who called in because her netbook wasn’t working. Having recently suffered two strokes, she explained that she was struggling with writing, and she was forced to call in due to her malfunctioning netbook.
The service rep initially explained that the traditional thing to do was to mail it in for repairs. The women grew teary over the news, explaining that this was fine, but that she was dependent on the netbook to communicate with her daughter stationed in Hawaii and her deployed son-in-law. Knowing that red tape shouldn’t stop her from taking care of a customer in need, the support rep quickly exchanged the netbook for her (sending her a new one), and even spent the extra time helping her set up the old passwords and account names, in addition to re-downloading Skype so she could talk with her family.
What really makes this a great story, however, is the follow-up. Out of the blue a few months later, our heroic service rep gets called down to the office. To her surprise, waiting there was the woman on the phone, holding a card and a teddy bear with a hula skirt:
"She says that what I did meant so much to her and her family that she called our corporate office and told them what I did, and that her daughter sent up the card and bear as a thank you."
8. No Shoes, Great Service
A customer was shopping for shoes for her elderly mother. Due to a medical condition, her mother had very sensitive feet and was often in pain when wearing hard-soled shoes. The customer bought six pairs of shoes from Zappos, and her mother tried them on and found two that she could bear to wear for long periods of time.
When it was time for her mother to return the other four pairs, she called Zappos, and in talking with the employee, this woman discovered that the person on the other end of the line could relate to her plight; the employee’s father had suffered from similar foot problems due to diabetes.
The employee ended the conversation by saying that she would pray for the woman to feel better . . . but the story doesn’t end there:
"My mom called me to relay the news, and I could hear the smile on her face from 600 miles away. She said that the lovely Zappos person had sent her an enormous bouquet of lilies and roses to let her know she was thinking of her.
My sister emailed the company to thank Zappos for taking such good care of my Mom. Two days later, my mom, sister, and I were contacted and told we are now “Zappos VIP Members,” which entitles us to free expedited shipping on all our orders. My sister vows to buy every pair of shoes, from now on, from Zappos."
Is somebody cutting onions in here? I swear, I just have something in my eye!
Truly a sweet story, and all thanks to Zappos’ willingness to hire people they trust, and trust the people they hire.
9. When Milk & Eggs Fly
If there was ever a customer service hall of fame, Ritz-Carlton would be one of the first inductees. They base so much of their business on doing things for their customers that most others wouldn’t.
While their most famous story may be Joshie the Giraffe and his extended stay, that’s not the only great report from Ritz-Carlton. Perhaps my second favorite story comes from this Businessweek article detailing the lengths the company will go to satisfy its customers:
One family staying at the Ritz-Carlton, Bali, had carried specialized eggs and milk for their son who suffered from food allergies. Upon arrival, they saw that the eggs had broken and the milk had soured. The Ritz-Carlton manager and dining staff searched the town but could not find the appropriate items. But the executive chef at this particular resort remembered a store in Singapore that sold them.
He contacted his mother-in-law, and asked that she buy the products and fly to Bali to deliver them, which she agreed to do. Of course the family was delighted. After an experience like that, do you think this particular family would even consider staying somewhere else?
Who would? No wonder so many of their customers stay for life.
10. Trader Joe's Dance Off
Nothing disappointed me more in my search for tales of great service than coming across this story and not having a picture to share with you.
Coming from the blog Life with the Kid, written by a mother about life with her son who has high-functioning autism, this next tale drives home a point we’ve made before: Trader Joe’s knows a thing or two about caring for customers.
It’s best told from the mother’s perspective, which I’m happy to share with you below:
"This evening I took the kid to Trader Joe’s to pick up some groceries. He was bouncing off the walls, unable to reign-in and control himself… But if there’s anything I’ve learned, real life has to happen. Groceries aren’t going to buy themselves. He almost ran into an Employee - again. The employee rolled with it, pivoting easily to change his direction. I spoke with the kid, 'Please pay attention. You almost ran into that guy.'
'That guy' told me not to worry about it: 'It’s part of the job. We’re always dodging around customers.'
'So, it’s like a constant dance party?' I asked.
And that was it - DANCE PARTY, indeed.
That guy called out another employee who was stocking the frozen food and next thing I knew… they were literally jammin’ out, bringin’ down the house in the middle of the frozen food isle. And then, invited my kid to dance along. At first, he was too shy. But after about 30 seconds of watching these two grown, awesome people rock-it-out, he started bustin’ a move. And they cheered him on. And my heart was glad: Glad to be at Trader Joe’s; Glad that these employees were awesome people; Glad that my kid was getting his antsy-ness out in a fun way with positive reinforcement from these adults who will never know how thankful I am for their ability to turn a stressful moment into a fun memory. My kid will always remember Trader Joe’s as the place he danced."
What a great memory and great service to their customers, and all thanks to a pair of employees who know how to have a little fun."