Why the Extra Mile matters in Customer Service

Businesses sometimes have a one dimensional approach to customer service. When customers ask for support, they are answered. That’s the unwritten rule in most companies. Also, talking of rules, in bigger organizations, there’s so much red tape and guidelines to follow, that navigating through them is an ordeal in itself. Because of all this, to give customers something special becomes a chore for which there’s just not enough time.

So it actually is refreshing to see businesses sometimes rise above mundane rules and regular rhetoric and actually give customers something they will cherish and remember.

Here are two examples of the same.


In May last year, British retail chain Sainsbury’s received a letter from 3 1/2 year old Lily Robinson with an idea to rename their Tiger bread to Giraffe bread, a few illustrations thrown in for good measure.

Sainsbury’s could have just ignored the letter, or sent it around the employees, had a good laugh, and then forgotten about it. But Christopher King, age 27 1/3, Customer Manager at Sainsbury’s, thought differently, & replied back to the letter, attaching a Sainsbury gift card for Lily as well.

There was really no need for Chris to send that gift card or even send a reply. But he did.

The picture above has the letters themselves. Read them, a smile is guaranteed.


It was India’s Republic Day last month, and the world’s largest democracy was celebrating its 63rd anniversary of becoming a constitutional republic. Finnair, Finland’s flag carrier, is one of the many international airlines operating in India, and it operates six flights a week to New Delhi, the capital.

Finnair decided to wish passengers on the occasion and had a dance crew surprise passengers with a popular Hindi song after boarding a Finnair flight to Delhi.

It is extremely unlikely that Finnair will generate a lot of revenue from this or that this will lead immediately to a spate of new air travelers for the airline. They could have just added a ‘Happy Republic Day’ in the pilot’s address. But they didn’t. They gave their customers an experience, not a formality.

Why did Sainsbury’s and Finnair go out of their way to give their customers this experience?

Because it is this extra mile that transforms customers into your company’s promoters. That small extra step you take will bring a smile upon your customers faces and make them feel good.

Rules are rules, but what really matters is the spirit with which they are carried out. The goal of a business should be to keep its customers happy. Once that part is taken care of, the customers themselves will take care of the rest.

And  if you are a growing company looking to go the extra mile in customer service, Freshdesk can be of help to you to manage and respond to all your customer communications. Do get in touch with us and see for yourself the difference Freshdesk can bring to your customer service experience.