Having taught customer service classes for more than five years through the Certified Tourism Ambassador program, speaking at conferences, and having secret shopped destinations and their attractions, restaurants, and hotels, it’s rare for me to frequent a retail store or restaurant and not think “they could have smiled more,” “they could have said that differently,” “they could have…” “they should have…”

I never give an online review so no store or restaurant will ever get one star for their customer service. Unfortunately, I never leave positive reviews even knowing the power of online reviews.

I truly wonder if the headlines are correct and Customer Service Is Dead. I recently shopped Best Buy. Passed by three associates and none of them acknowledged I was in the store, let alone asked if I needed any assistance. One young man looked me square in the eyes and turned away without saying a word. (Yes, I didn’t engage with any of them just to see how many employees would pass me before engaging.)

I went into Barnes and Noble looking for a book. (Yes, some of us still shop local and don’t buy everything online.) I walked around the entire store and never saw a clerk. I felt like I would have to page someone like this guy.

Walmart greeters don’t greet. Check out clerks don’t say a word. People at restaurant counters don’t greet you, smile, or thank you for your business. And that’s just the basics of customer service.

With this growing frustration, I was delighted to read the 7 unique ways companies are awing customers. Originally printed in CustomerThink.com, these two really showed me there is hope. Companies and their employees indeed embrace the concept of exceeding customer expectations.

A teenage boy entered Target seeking a clip-on tie for a job interview. Instead, two Target employees taught the boy how to put on a real tie, give a proper handshake, and answer interview questions. A customer caught the interaction on her phone. The act of kindness that went above their job duties gained national attention. Cheered on by Target employees as he left the store, and after his interview the teenager was hired!

When Kerry Drake’s United Airlines flight was delayed, he broke into tears. He wouldn’t be able to make his connecting flight before it left, and that meant he might never be able to reach his dying mother in time to say goodbye. After noticing Drake’s distress, a flight attendant relayed his circumstances to the captain, who called ahead to hold the connecting flight. Drake made it in time to see his mother and have one last rational conversation with her. She passed away the following morning. In business, it’s all too easy to get caught up in deadlines and production requirements. Sometimes, however, even your customers can agree that coming to a stop is for the better good.

And what’s a blog post about exceptional customer service without a mention of Chick-fil-A? Not only do these east Texas employees deliver the best chicken sandwich with pleasure, but they give a customer a push when their car breaks down.

Experienced exceptional customer service? Witness someone that has truly exceeded your expectations? Comment below or email me and share your story with me.

Keep smiling and thanks for reading.

Stephen

 

Want to improve the customer service at your business? We share the best articles on customer service each week on our blog. You can also talk to us about our secret shopping services. We provide feedback on our experience so you can correct mistakes or reward exceptional service and improve. Drop us an email from here.