There’s a lot of bad news in the world. But you’re not going to find that here. Not today. Instead, we’re rounding up our favorite, most heart-warming and inspiring customer service stories that we’ve seen this year.
Customer experience is everything. It determines customer loyalty and spend. It’s directly tied to retention. While we often talk about the impact that AI can play on the customer experience (C/X), in this post we’re focusing on the human element in C/X.
We feel strongly that AI should never replace humans, but rather collaborate with humans. There are some things that AI will never be able to replicate. Characteristics that will always be uniquely human. These great customer service stories focus on these elements — compassion, empathy, subjectivity. The employees in these stories are empowered to act. They take the initiative to do something outside of their job description to make a huge difference in an individual’s life – in the moment of need. We can all learn a lot.
Here are the best customer service stories of 2019
1. Southwest Airlines saves the dress
A bridesmaid traveled to Costa Rica for her sister’s wedding. Once the busy mother-of-two arrived, she realized that her much-needed bridesmaids dress was still in Texas. Shipping companies could not get the dress to her until after the wedding. She felt hopeless. That is, until a Twitter plea to Southwest Airlines was answered. The airline stepped up and got the dress to the bridesmaid on time for the big day. This over-the-top gesture from Southwest had many employees working to make one single customer (and a bride) very, very happy.
2. A Comcast customer service rep saves a man having a stroke
A Michigan-based Comcast customer was having a conversation about an outage with a Mississippi-based customer service rep when his words started to sound like gibberish. The rep, having witnessed a relative suffering from a stoke years before, recognized that the customer was likely suffering one. She personally tracked down the local EMT and Fire Department and stayed on the line until they arrived. Because of her actions, he is now recovering.
3. A Chick-fil-A manager helps a WWII veteran change his tire
Chick-fil-a is one of those companies that’s frequently associated with exceptional customer service, so it should come of no surprise that the restaurant chain made our list. Here’s how one manager stepped up.
When Mr. Lee, a 96-year-old veteran and frequent customer realized he had a flat tire, he came to the counter with tears in his eyes and said he didn’t have anyone to help him. Without delay, Manager Daryl Howard went into action. The tire was changed within 15 minutes.
4. UPS honors a wife’s wishes
This story is more funny than heartwarming, but it still deserves to be on the list.
A woman, who appears to have quite the shopping habit, left a request via a doormat. She kindly asked delivery drivers to hide all packages from her husband, rather humorously. One UPS driver, much to her delight, granted her wish.
5. A barber helps a boy with autism
Not all of our stories come from large enterprises. In this story, a local barber helped a young boy who was diagnosed with autism. His parents had cut his hair at home for many years after he became overwhelmed at kid salons. Before his first school picture day, though, his parents thought it might be a good time to try a professional cut again. They scheduled an appointment at Marky Fresh Barbershop. When the young boy arrived, he became emotional inside the shop. The barber noticed he had been much calmer outside, so he suggested that they move the chair outside. It made a world of difference.
6. A server takes the time to have a conversation
At an Eat’n Park restaurant in Pennsylvania, a 91-year-old veteran sat down by himself for dinner. His server quickly struck up a conversation with the man. The veteran started telling stories before he explained that he was alone now and apologized for talking so much. After paying for his dinner, the waiter listened patiently to every word, reassuring him that he very much enjoyed the conversation.
7. A sanitation worker helps an elderly woman wheel her trash can
Another heartwarming story was captured on a doorbell camera. A sanitation worker saw an 88-year old woman trip and hit her head while wheeling her trashcan up her driveway. The fall required stitches, and the worker stayed with the woman until the ambulance arrived. The kind hearted gesture did not end there. Now, every week, he wheels her trashcan up the driveway, arm-in-arm with the woman.
8. A Trader Joe’s employee distracts a crying toddler
Anyone with young children has been in public when a full-blown meltdown occurs. It’s excruciating. It’s embarrassing. When this happened at one Trader Joe’s, the happy and friendly employees stepped up. They put on a dance that calmed the little customer down immediately.
The customer experience is so important today. Treating customers as individuals and people – not data or audience segments – goes a long way. While we often post about the impact AI can have on C/X in travel, retail, telecom and other industries, sometimes it’s nice to get back to the basics of good humans.
What customer service stories have you loved this year?