We love sharing customer service stories; especially ones that inspire and help improve your customer service approach. Time and time again, we prove that a great customer service should be at the core of every company’s business operations and even marketing strategy, acknowledging that customer experience is essential for the company’s overall success.
That said, we give you the best and worst customer service stories of 2014, and our takeaways.
Best Customer Service
1. Tim’s Place: A dining place that offers warm hugs to customers
People appreciate it when they are welcomed warmly. It shows how they are valued as people, especially as customers. This is what Tim’s Place aim for with their vision of becoming the “World’s Friendliest Restaurant.” Tim Harris, 28-year old restaurant owner who has Down Syndrome, previously worked as a host in the restaurant industry and his way of greeting customers made a huge impact on them. His parents decided to open a restaurant business for him in 2010 and called it Tim’s Place, where they serve Breakfast, Lunch and Hugs. See how Tim brightens up customers’ day just by visiting his restaurant. Now, won’t you want to eat here?
2. Airline Safety Reminders Become Entertaining courtesy of South West Flight Attendant
When this video of Marty Cobb, a South West fligh attendant, came out on Youtube giving a twist on regular airline safety, it went viral with 19 million views as of late. Ellen DeGeneres invited her for an interview about why she does this and here is what she said “We did learn it a certain way. I was trained a certain way and I just, at some point, I’m just kinda put my own spin on it. And it is just more fun to make people laugh and let them relax. You know how stressful flying can be. In my little tube in the sky, I can make a difference in some people’s lives.” Watch the interview here. And this is the perfect example of personalizing customer service to make your customers happy.
3. TD Canada’s “Not Your Ordinary ATM”
Thanking your customers is always a wonderful gesture to show your customers how important they are to you. But TD Canada, a bank group based in Toronto, Canada, went above and beyond in showing their customers their deepest gratitude for being a patron. Witness how a TD Canada ATM became an “automated thanking machine” and surprised their customers with a very thoughtful gesture of appreciation. Get ready with your tissue box because this is a real tearjerker.
Worst Customer Service
1. Grandma stuck in airport for 11 hours because of South West Airline error
Elderly customers are normally treated with utmost assistance by companies, being elderly and some with physical limitations. However, South West Airline missed this and ended up losing 85-year old Alice Vaticano who is diabetic and wheelchair-bound at Newark airport which left her stuck there for 11 hours without food or bathroom break. Instead of owning up to this mishap, South West Airlines blamed the skycaps and released a less than apologetic statement about the incident. Read more here. Funny how South West Airline makes it to the Best, and the Worst.
2. The Notorious ComCast Call for a Simple Cancellation Request
We have featured this story before, and it remains to be one of the worst customer service stories that happened this year. Instead of a smooth transaction of cancelling their ComCast subscription, Ryan Block and Veronica Belmont had the most unfortunate experience to receive the rude treatment from this ComCast customer service rep. Listen how the call went.
3. A racist comment printed on a customer receipt by a Macado employee
Whether in front of the customer or not, employees must continually show respect to their clients. This is one mistake that an employee at Macado’s, a small restaurant famous for their memorabilia-filled dining rooms and “overstuffed” sandwiches, made when placing the order for the cook to prepare. When J.R. Creasy called to order Macado Chicken Wings and picked them up, he found the receipt of his food order with a notation that said “make for black person.” He then posted it on his Facebook account and called the restaurant about it. The manager found out who made the comment and fired a female employee soon after. Here is the news about this incident.
And as we say goodbye to 2014, we hope these stories will help you strategize how you can make your company’s customer service more efficient and customer-centric this 2015.