7 Lesser Known WOW Customer Service Stories

Last week, when I began analyzing what makes for a heart touching customer service, I observed one thing that was common to all stories— a true gesture of goodwill and readiness to help out a customer, no matter what.  Another interesting thread to these stories is how the brands had empowered its employees to take their own decisions so as to provide an experience worth remembering for a lifetime.

Take a look at these untold stories that will not only inspire you but also make you smile. 

#1 Sandals Resorts

Despite making a reservation, Gunn and his wife were told that the Negril Sandals resort was overbooked. They were moved against their wish to Sandal’s then-new Dunn’s River resort which was still under construction. After Gunn made it clear that he wanted nothing but a stay at Negril Sandals, they were shifted back. On their return, they received an apology letter from the CEO of Sandals offering a one-week stay at any Jamaican Sandals resort. And, the best part was, he had waived the one-year time limit, in writing.

So, all this happened in the year 1991. Gunn lost the letter only to find it 25 years later (that is 2014) when his children were planning a honeymoon. He still showed the letter to Sandals expecting a negative reply, since the offer was not transferable. Yet, to his amazement, Sandals transferred the offer to his children even when they could have easily pointed out their contractual terms. Sounds crazy, right?

But, I would say they did the right thing. The whole Gunn’s family ended up planning their vacation to Sandals.

#2 Chick-fil-A

Who knew that the fast-food chain would play sheriff and melt many hearts? When a girl left her flamingo toy in Chick-fil-A restaurant after dining with her dad, the brand took to social media to find the girl and return her toy.

storiesThe post gained so much popularity that the missing flamingo was covered by Newsday magazine and News 12 channel. Thanks to the wide coverage, the girl’s mom got to know about it in less than 48 hours. And, later that week, Chick-fil-A organized a pink-themed flamingo reunion for the 3-year-old Madison. Along with the flamingo, the brand surprised her with a photo album named ‘Adventures of Flamingo and Cow’. It contained the flamingo’s vacation at Chick-fil-A which was nothing short of great entertainment. Now, that’s what you call customer service goals!

Check out some of the flamingo’s vacation pics and the party thrown for Madison by Chick-fil-A.

#3 Southwest Airlines

When Vargas landed in Newark with his mother, her wheelchair’s left arm had broken. Though he didn’t ask for any help, a supervisor from Southwest Airlines got a vendor to look into the wheelchair. When the vendor told it would take time, the supervisor gave a brand new wheelchair in exchange for the old one, for free.

That’s not all. On their return trip home, a Southwest rep had got the wheelchair to the airplane door and stayed with them till Vargas retrieved their luggage. Despite being midnight, the rep made sure to help them, keeping his tiredness aside. Isn’t that sweet?

#4 Zappos

One fine day, Steve from Zappos customer support received a call from a tensed gentleman. Here’s what he said, “Hey, my wife had ordered a handbag from Zappos and had it returned today. The thing is, two days back I had put all my wife’s jewelry in that Zappos box when she asked me to keep it somewhere safe. Can you do something about it fast? My wife is damn mad at me and I’m in serious trouble”.

Realizing the urgency of the situation, Steve had the box re-routed and flew to return the jewelry to the gentleman, in person. Phew, that was a close shave.

Here’s a video of the story released by Zappos that’ll crack you up.

#5 Costco

When Skeet’s Samsung TV lost its video display, his daughter phoned the number displayed on the TV sticker to get answered by Costco. The Costco member said that their system had identified Skeet’s TV purchase at Costco and informed that it was seven days part warranty. He added that the repair department would take up this issue and get it fixed.

Two days later, when the repair department couldn’t find the required parts, they asked Skeet to bring his TV to the local Costco store for a full refund. The refund process took a mere five minutes and the new TV was given at $125 cheaper than the old TV! Also, Skeet purchased it with Costco Visa and ended up getting a four-year warranty. Now, who wouldn’t be impressed?

#6 Sainsbury’s

When an elderly lady was in the middle of purchase in Sainsbury’s, she appeared distressed. The supermarket staff, who had gone to comfort her, discovered that she had dementia. Apparently, she was shopping for some items and flowers when she forgot everything all of a sudden. The staff called the police for help and assisted the frightened lady until they arrived. They gave her shopping items and flowers for free as the lady had left her purse at home.

So, what happened next? The police officer took the lady back home safe, arranged the purchased items and put the flowers on display. Kudos to these guys who saved a lady from losing her way : )

#7 Trouva

Trouva, a brand that connects local boutiques with online customers, takes feedback seriously. And, they never forget to make it up when things go wrong. When a customer doesn’t have a satisfactory experience, they send a cookie personalized with the customer’s name. As a result, they have had a lot of lovely feedback from customers on social channels and via email telling that it’s a really nice, personal gesture they appreciate.

In one instance, a customer wanted to unsubscribe from Trouva. Upon receiving the cookie 🍪, she reached back to them saying “I’ve never seen a business do something like this, please sign me back up!”

There you go!

With customer service usually linked to complaints, I’m sure these stories where brands went the extra mile would have warmed your heart.

Have you experienced or heard something like this? Feel free to drop a comment or submit the story here.

Main illustration: Sriram Govindasamy