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Gift-Giving, Customer Service Style

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An ATM that spits out presents – instead of assessing fees?

A hotel that gifts not one – but TWO – high-end clock radios to a customer who fell in love with one during her stay?

Yep, customer service can – and should be – this amazing.

Ready to get in the holiday mood?

These three examples of customer service gift-giving will really put you in the spirit:

Redbubble really pays it forward.

When my co-worker, Mandy, needed to exchange a t-shirt she bought online, she steeled herself for a long, nightmarish process: complete a return form; buy an envelope to pack and ship the shirt; re-order the correct size….

You get the picture.

She was absolutely floored when she sent a two-sentence email to Redbubble’s online support ON CHRISTMAS DAY – and received the following response from a customer service rep:

“Hi Mandy,

Thanks for getting a hold of us. Sorry to hear the awesome tee wasn’t a perfect fit after all. I’m here to put a smile on your face!

I’ve given our printing team the thumbs up, and your replacement tee is in the works…

Your replacement order should be with you by 11th January, and there’s no need to return the original order to us – feel free to gift it away or donate it to a charitable organization.

Have an awesome rest of the day and Merry Christmas!”

Friendliness. Responsiveness. One-step resolution. All from a company that pays it forward? That was an unexpected, and very welcome, customer service gift.

Gaylord Opryland WOWs a Repeat Customer

This Entrepreneur.com article recounts the story of a regular hotel customer who fell in love with one of the features in her hotel room: an alarm clock that played light music (as in, the kind that you’d experience in a high-end spa). According to the customer, she was extremely fond of the item because she had never slept better than she did while using it.

After trying for three years to find the exact model clock from her hotel room, the woman had nearly given up hope. But when she messaged the company’s Twitter page during her most recent trip to Opryland, she returned to her room to find not one – but TWO – spa clocks waiting for her, along with a handwritten note.

Opryland seized an opportunity to make sure their long-time customer had an amazing experience – and gave her a gift that would keep on giving!

This ATM Spits Out Gifts – Not Fees

In this HelpScout.net blog post, I read a pretty remarkable story about a Canadian bank that gave thank-you gifts to over 30,000 customers. Here are a few highlights:

  • The bank temporarily turned several of their ATMs into Automated Thanking Machines. Rather than spit out bank balances, they spit out some pretty remarkable gifts – like a family-pack of tickets to Disney, an invitation to throw out the first pitch at a Blue Jays game, and a plane ticket for a mother to visit her sick daughter in Trinidad.
  • To boot, the bank gave every customer who was in a branch at 2:00 p.m. on their “TD Thanks You” day a $20 bill. Even customers who were logged into their online banking account received a direct deposit for $20!

Did this gift-giving event take time, effort and money to plan? Absolutely. But the goodwill this bank’s efforts created yielded huge returns in terms of new business and increased customer loyalty.

I hope you enjoyed these inspiring stories; they definitely made me smile. And if you have a great example of customer service gift-giving you’d like to share, please leave a comment below!

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