Two Tales of Extraordinary Customer Service

Last year, Forrester reported that only 37 percent of customers give brands "good" or "excellent" customer service scores. We're not too surprised by this data. Customers are naturally more inclined to comment on bad service rather than good.

If you're a marketer, you're probably throwing your hands up, screaming, "What does it take to get a positive customer review?!"

Marketers, please stop, collaborate and listen. You must differentiate yourselves from the competition by doing something extraordinary, something memorable and something worth writing about. We'll give you some prime examples.


The Story of the Stuffed Giraffe 


After returning home from a Florida vacation, Chris Hurns realized that his son had left behind his stuffed giraffe, Joshie, at the Ritz-Carlton hotel. To comfort his upset son, Hurns told him that Joshie was extending his vacation. 

The next morning, Hurns got a call from the Ritz-Carlton Loss Prevention Team saying that they had found the lost giraffe. To validate his story, Hurns asked the team to take a picture of Joshie by the pool with sunglasses on.

A few days later, Hurns received a package from the Ritz-Carlton. What was inside was so extraordinary and memorable that Hurns uploaded a video to YouTube, telling the world how impressed he was. That video currently has over 31,000 views.

The package contained Joshie and a picture of the stuffed giraffe by the pool just as Hurns had requested. What impressed Hurns the most was that the Loss Prevention Team had also included an entire photo album of Joshie's extended vacation, including Joshie getting a massage and driving a golf cart. 



The Story of the Tweet Come True


After a long day of traveling, Peter Shankman, a steak enthusiast, jokingly tweeted his favorite steak house with an odd request.

Hey @Mortons – can you meet me at Newark Airport with a porterhouse when I land in two hours? K, thanks. :)

What he didn’t expect was that the restaurant would actually take his request seriously.

When Shankman walked off the plane and into the airport two and a half hours later, there was a man in a tuxedo carrying a Morton’s bag filled with a 24 oz. porterhouse steak, an order of colossal shrimp, a side of potatoes, bread, napkins and silverware.

Perhaps the most impressive part of this story is that the closest Morton’s steakhouse was 24 miles away. This means that someone had to see the tweet, get authorization to perform the stunt and place, cook and drive the order to the airport while someone else tracked down the flight and where he would be landing in just under three hours.

The big question is: What can we learn from these companies?

Do Something Exceptional for Your Customers 


The Customer Service Team at the Ritz-Carlton wasn't responsible for the creative binder of pictures and goodies that made the Hurn family feel special. It was the Loss Prevention Team.

As Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, once stated, “Customer service shouldn't just be a department, it should be the entire company."

The Ritz-Carlton is notorious for its high standards of customer service, and it trains and motivates all of its staff to go above and beyond the call of duty for its guests. By doing so, the Ritz-Carlton creates a base of loyal customers who are dying to tell their friends and family about their experiences.

Take Chances


Could the Morton’s steakhouse delivery have gone completely awry? Of course.

Shankman’s flight could have been delayed. He could have accidentally walked past the Morton’s server. The point is, an infinite amount of mishaps could have occurred, but the steakhouse took a chance and it worked. Not only did they make one man a loyal customer for life, they received a large amount of free positive publicity.

We should all strive to mimic the actions of the Ritz-Carlton and Morton's Steakhouse by creating lasting impressions on our customers through incredible service. Give your customers something exceptional to rave about, and watch the great reviews roll in.