Love a good story? I do – especially when it demonstrates a shareworthy service principle.

I recently came across an article on the mental_floss site that presented 11 of the greatest customer service stories ever. I’ve chosen three of my favorites and summarized them below. If you need a quick break and want to smile, take a read!

Shareworthy Service Principle #1: Great service – and great PR – don’t cost a lot.

The story: Preparing to board his final flight after a long day of traveling, Peter Shankman knew he’d arrive at his destination hungry. On a whim, he tweeted: “Hey, @Mortons – can you meet me at newark airport with a porterhouse when I land in two hours? K, thanks. :)”

Guess what? When he deplaned, he was met by a tuxedoed gentleman holding a bag that contained a 24 oz. porterhouse dinner – complete with silverware.

The takeaway:
Creativity and effort go a long way in delivering memorable customer experiences. When a client presents you with a challenge, consider it an opportunity to shine. Surprise them and go the extra mile. If you do an exceptional job, they’ll share their experience with others.

Shareworthy Service Principle #2: Listen to your customers.

The story: A 3-year-old girl named Lily wrote a letter to Sainsbury’s grocery store (in the U.K.) asking, “Why is tiger bread called tiger bread? It should be called giraffe bread.” The girl was very observant. The pattern on the bakery item she was referring to really did resemble a giraffe more than a tiger.

Chris King, a customer service manager at the chain, responded, “I think renaming tiger bread giraffe bread is a brilliant idea – it looks much more like the blotches on a giraffe than the stripes on a tiger, doesn’t it? It is called tiger bread because the first baker who made it a looong time ago thought it looked stripey like a tiger. Maybe they were a bit silly.” He enclosed a gift card and renamed the product.

The takeaway:
Business gurus aren’t the only source of great ideas – your customers are, too! Listen to their feedback about your staffing and recruiting services. They may present eye-opening perspectives and fresh ideas that will make your company even better. Plus, just showing that you truly listen to their input goes a long way toward building relationships.

Shareworthy Service Principle #3: Genuine caring is priceless.

The story: Held up in L.A. traffic, a man didn’t make it to his gate on time for his Southwest Airlines flight. His wife had scheduled the flight last-minute, so he could travel to see his three-year-old grandson for the last time. The little boy had been beaten into a coma and was being taken off of life support that night, so his organs could be donated.

When the man arrived to the gate 12 minutes after his scheduled departure time, he was shocked to find the pilot waiting for him. After accepting the man’s heartfelt thanks the pilot said to him, “They can’t go anywhere without me, and I wasn’t going anywhere without you. Now relax. We’ll get you there. And again, I’m so sorry.”

The takeaway:
Be willing to occasionally bend the rules to help a customer in need. It’s good business, good karma and just the right thing to do.

Have any shareworthy service stories to share? Tell me about them below.

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