Your Great Customer Experience Energizes Customer Validation *

Your Great Customer Experience Energizes Customer Validation *

Your Great Customer Experience Creates Customer Validation!



Your Customer Experience is a Philosophy!


Many people think of customer service as a department.  I believe that customer service is part of a companies philosophy, not a company department.  

Customer service should be embraced by every employee, regardless of their job and how long they’ve been with a company.  The focus on this topic should be about what many consider to be the customer service and support department, the people who have contact and interact with the customer.


Technology Changed, Your Customers Haven’t!


When it comes to the outcome of a customer service experience, the customer’s expectations haven’t changed.  They just want to be taken care of.

The difference today is how many ways we have to communicate with the customer and reach the desired outcome.  What has changed is the way we go about delivering service.  

We’ve figured out how to do it faster, and even better.  Back “in the day,” which wasn’t that long ago there was typically just two ways that customer service was provided.  Customer Service was done in person or over the phone.   Then technology kicked in and we started making service and support better and more efficient.


Delivering Customer Service is Unchanged.


A lot that is changing about how we deliver customer service.  If you look at what customer service is today, it is the same as it was fifty years ago.  Will it still be the same fifty years from now?

Customer service is just a customer needing help, having a question answered or a problem resolved. Answer the question or resolve the problem and the customer is happy.  That’s it.

When it comes to the customer’s expectations, they are the same.  In other words, nothing has changed in customer service!


How do You Interact With Your Customers?


Times have changed and direct interaction with customers can come in many forms.  It can be the traditional customer service team who fields questions and complaints.  Interaction can come through a customer simply calling, for any reason, to connect with someone inside the company.  

The customer may reach out to the company via social media accounts, a company website, or a text message.  It’s really any interaction with the company.

Does your company just answer questions and manage complaints, or do they validate the customer’s decision to do business with you?  In other words, when the interaction with the customer is over, does the customer think, “I love doing business with this company”?


Compare Your Metrics vs. Customer Validation?


Don’t Allow Metrics to Kill Customer Validation!


That makes common sense, but here is where some companies get it wrong.  They focus on metrics, or even worse, the wrong metrics.  

Metrics are an important way to measure performance, they can tell you a big part of what you need to know.  However if one of your key metrics is about getting the customer off the phone as quickly as possible, that could be shortsighted in attempting to achieve customer validation.


Answer Your Customers Unasked Questions.


The best customer support does several things.  First, it answers the customer’s question.  

Second, it gives an opportunity for the service provider to make suggestions, answer future questions the customer may have but doesn’t know it yet, and much more.  This can’t  happen if your metric for measuring customer service performance is built on a foundation of rushing to complete a customer’s call.


Focus on Your Customer, not the Clock.


Customers will call for help and support, and possibly even to complain.  The customers call is an opportunity for your company to shine and build your reputation and brand.  

You can engage the customer using your knowledge, communication skills, patience, willingness to help, and ability to build rapport to build validate the customers choice to do business with your company.  

You can ensure the customer is not only happy but has also made the right choice.  Validate the reason a customer chose to do business with the company in the first place.  

That can’t happen if efficiency is how you measure success.  Instead, the focus should be on the customer’s level of satisfaction and eagerness to do business with you the next time they need what you sell.


Customer Validation is not Measured in Minutes.


Validation must be a part of the customer experience.  Customer validation creates confidence, which will lead to greater customer loyalty!


Customers Still Seek Validation.


Wrapping up, customer expectations haven’t changed.  They still want to be taken care of, regardless of how you do it.  It all begins with someone needing help, dealing with a problem, upset about something or just wanting to have a question answered.  

It ends with that person walking away knowing they made the right decision to do business with you.  How you get from the beginning to the end is not nearly as important as how they feel when they walk away, hang up the phone or turn off their computer.


Customer Validation Hasn’t Changed


It’s actually the same as it’s always been.  If you really do it correctly, it’s Customer Validation because their Customer Service Experience exceeded expectations!


Is Your Business Customer Focused or Operations Focused *

Is Your Business Customer Focused or Operations Focused *

Is Your Business, Customer or Operations Focused?



Give Your Customer’s a Great Experience


Do you understand what it takes for your company to give customers a great customer service experience?  It takes a lot of effort to create the business culture which can give the best customer experience possible

To give your customer’s a great user experience you have to selectively hire great employees, you have to properly train your employees, and then you have to deliver a great and memorable experience. 


Be Memorable, and be Remembered


You have to understand, your customers are comparing you to the best and worst customer experience’s that they have ever received.  Today your customers level of expectations is high, and this is a comparison which you can’t allow yourself to fail.

Many companies claim to give great customer service, but do they deliver what they promise?  Many times they don’t, and they have set themselves up to fail.  Their company culture is built with an operations mentality with rigid rules, policies and procedures that just don’t allow for flexibility.

Frequently companies inflexibility prevents them from being more than just average or satisfactory.  Lets examine a few of the differences between customer-focused companies versus operations-focused companies.


5 Steps to a Great Customer Experience



Build Your Culture on Leadership


It’s impossible to build a customer-focused company culture without leaders who set the vision and mission of the company, and then lead by example.  Setting the example you want followed is key to establishing the culture you desire.  Then it’s a matter of encouraging employees to embrace the culture and follow in your footsteps.

Leading an operations-focused company takes a different approach.  Again the leadership sets the vision and mission of the culture, but often the vision is coupled to an attitude which stresses following a rigid set of rules and procedures.

 often stresses that employees need to follow a “Do as I say, not as I do” approach.  This behavioral approach can be at odds with what they want to achieve, often leaving employees confused and less motivated.


People Must Always Come First


The customer-focused company knows the importance of putting people first, especially employees.  They encourage a culture of happy, engaged and fulfilled employees who deliver a better customer experience.  Customers recognize this, embrace it and continue to come back.  Customers can feel when a business values them, and knows when it doesn’t.  

An operations-focused companies culture is focused on developing rules and procedures.  Instead of placing people first, the focus and measure of success is always and only the bottom line.  While a strong bottom line is crucial to any company’s success, not focusing on the people misses the culture part of the equation.


Hire Employees to Fit Your Culture


A customer-focused company hires people who enhance and will embrace the company culture, this simply means that any employee’s hired must have the personality and values that align with the companies vision and mission.   Certain jobs may require skill, but skill alone should not get an applicant hired who does not possess the necessary people skills. 

An operations-focused company will hire for skill, filling a position with technical strengths.  The applicant’s personality may or may not fit with the corporate culture.


Train Your Employees for Success


A customer-focused company spends time and money training for soft skills such as relationship building and customer service. The company recognizes that it takes both, technical and soft skills, to break away from being average. 

The operations-focused company spends most of their training dollars and time on technical skills and product knowledge.


Empower Your Employees


A customer-focused company empowers employees to make decisions that are for the benefit of the customer.  The company establishes guidelines rather than rigid rules.  It’s an approach that allows employees to deal with each customer in an open and flexible manner. 

The companies guidelines allow employees to take independent actions as long as it isn’t illegal, immoral, won’t cost the company money, and won’t harm the company’s reputation.  The company focus is on serving the customers needs, and doing whatever it to takes to satisfy the customer. 

The operations-focused company requires a manager’s approval for anything that is outside of their policies or typical way of doing business.  Employees are unable to provide customer care if it does not fit the companies rigid set of rules and procedures.


What’s Your Customer Experience Choice?



How do You See Your Customer Service


Are you a customer-focused company that sees customer service as a philosophyto be embraced by every employee of the company, recognizing that there are both external and internal customers. 

Or, are you a operations-focused company that sees customer service as a department.

The differences are huge and are focused squarely on the type of business culture that you would choose to follow.


Handle your negative social media comments positively P

Handle your negative social media comments positively P

Negative social media comments and reviews are sometimes amusing, but they can pose major problems for businesses. Many studies have explored the impact of online reviews on consumer behavior, and the general consensus is that:

Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google are unavoidable parts of running a business today. They increasingly act as the primary connection between your company and its customers, and they also largely shape your online reputation.

While these interactions and your social media marketing efforts can be productive for your business, they’re also highly visible and can hurt you if handled haphazardly.

For instance, when someone posts negative feedback on Google, all of your current and potential customers can see it, as well as your subsequent reaction. Is that reaction calm and empathetic, rash and emotional, or something else entirely

Handling negative social media comments and reviews poorly is one of the biggest reputation mistakes that internet entrepreneurs make.


If you’re running your own business and haven’t found a solution for gracefully dealing with your customers online, it’s time to change that.

In this article, we explore several strategies for dealing with negative social media comments, walk you step-by-step through responding to a less-than-ideal customer review, explain what not to do when managing the comment sections of your social media profiles, and finally elaborate on the importance of responding to all comments — the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Let’s get to it.

Strategies for handling negative social media comments

Not sure how to respond to negative comments on social media like a pro? These suggestions can help.

Ready? Let’s go.

Related: A beginner’s guide to social media for small business

Respond to the comment quickly

Woman Sitting On Floor With Laptop

The last thing you want a disgruntled customer to feel is that you’re ignoring their complaint or concern. Not to mention, casual bystanders (i.e. potential customers) will take your silence into consideration before purchasing your products or services.

Even if you need some time to look into their problem, there’s nothing wrong with simply posting an official statement that says you’re investigating the situation and will be in touch as soon as possible. Just make sure you remember to leave a response once you’ve figured it out (or it won’t be a good look either).

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Be sincere and transparent

Believe it or not, most customers understand that you and the individuals working with you are human. Mistakes happen. How you deal with them, however, is where you can really hurt (or boost) your reputation.

If there’s an issue with your products or services, let your customers know that you’re aware of the problem, and are working on a solution.

Leave the script behind and communicate your genuine concern and commitment toward addressing the issue.

Plus, negative comments can humanize your social media profiles. A constant stream of 5-star reviews might seem phony to some users, so engage with them sincerely to de-escalate situations and generate goodwill.

Related: 15 social media tips and best practices for 2020

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Give discounts when necessary

Sometimes people just need to know that you understand their frustration. When you back up a thoughtful response with a discount, you don’t just tell them you understand — you show them.

Think of a small discount as an extra token of your appreciation for their business, and for taking the time to provide feedback.


Just make sure the discount makes sense and is proportionate to the issue they’re facing, or that discount will look insincere.

Discounts can provide a variety of benefits for businesses as well. Although handing out a discount may cost you a little upfront, it often pays off in the form of a loyal customer, or even future business from that customer’s social circle (word of mouth marketing is a powerful thing).

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Interact directly with your customers

Red Phone With Cord

It’s not always ideal to handle negative social media comments on public forums. Know when to leave a polite and sincere response, as well as when to step back and directly message customers.

Not only do public forums reduce your control of the situation, but watching a Twitter battle unfold might also annoy your followers, even if you’re being kind and accommodating. And if you’re dealing with negative feedback on Yelp? Also a place where things can escalate quickly.

The bottom line is that almost every popular social media platform has a direct message feature. Use that feature to your advantage.

After you’ve handled the formalities of making a public response, move the conversation to private messages where you can explore the customer’s unhappiness and try to make it right. Just remember to conduct yourself as though everyone is watching, because people will take screenshots if they feel slighted.

Related: 3 steps to managing reviews online

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Make yourself available and visible

Your company website and social media profiles should make it easy for your customers to contact you, and for you to reach out to them.

A social media complaint response doesn’t always have to be incredibly public, either. If a customer complains on your business page, leave a polite reply saying that you’re sorry for their experience and that you’ll be in touch via messenger to rectify the situation.

You can also provide an unhappy customer your customer service phone number or email address to give them direct access to a human being — especially if the issue is ongoing or if you’re trying to troubleshoot their problem.

There’s nothing more disheartening for a customer than having to cut through red tape when they have a problem.

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Keep things in perspective

The best business owners know they have to take the bad with the good, and that bumps — like negative feedback — are part of the game. Strive to resolve negative social media comments responsibly, and stay focused on the good that can come from them. Your customers will appreciate you and your business much more if you do.

Finally, when thinking about your optimal response to negative comments, the most important thing to keep in mind is that your customers are reaching out for help (even if they do so in an angry or exasperated way).

Take care of their needs and, most of the time, they’ll repay you with loyalty and positive comments in the future.

Related: 4 ways to wow with social media customer service

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Considerations for leaving a response to negative comments

So when that negative comment inevitably appears, what steps should you take to make the situation right? We’ve got five steps below to guide you through.

1. Step back and take a deep breath

Some people are naturally laid back in every situation. But for the rest of us, it’s easy to get defensive when someone complains or attacks something we hold close to our hearts, like our business.

Do whatever you need to achieve a stable state of mind before responding to a negative social media comment.


You want your brand voice to be professional and level-headed, even if irreverence is on-brand for your particular business.

When you’ve achieved that mental state (or something close to it), proceed to the next step.
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2. Write out your response on paper

Don’t jump online and push out a hurried response to the negative social media comment. Take your time, and write your thoughts out on paper.

Taking notes and writing a draft like this lets you gather your ideas, consider how to best articulate your response, and determine if you think this customer deserves a discount, refund, etc. It also gives you time to think about what to post publicly, and what to keep private.

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3. Be ready to give something up

As you’re writing out a response to the complaint, also think about what you could potentially give up — discounts, free shipping, free products — in order to turn things around with the customer.

Ultimately, placating an unhappy and vocal customer will save your business money.


However, it’s important to phrase your offer in a way that comes off as sincere, or it may not end up helping at all and may actually make them angrier.

That’s why it’s important to get a second opinion on your response.

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4. Loop in a colleague or trusted individual for writing feedback

Two People Having A Discussion At A Picnic Bench

It might seem drastic, but a single social media complaint response can end up causing many issues for your business. After you’ve written what you think is the ideal reply for this particular scenario, get a second opinion.

Having someone else assess the tone of your words — whether it’s a colleague, trusted friend, or even spouse — can help ensure your writing comes off as sincere.

Show them the customer’s complaint as well as your potential response, and see what they think. It’s possible they’ll have suggestions on how to better ameliorate the situation, and they can give you an opinion on whether a discount/refund seems like the next logical step.

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5. Comment and track the situation

You’ve put together an on-brand, calm-and-collected response and had its tone approved by someone else — you’re now ready to respond to the negative comment.

After you’ve clicked “reply” or “send,” you’ll want to make sure the situation comes to a satisfactory conclusion for both you and the customer/user, so don’t sweep everything under the rug just yet.

Make sure that any promises you make in your comment come to fruition, follow up in a private message if the customer is unresponsive to your reply, and be ready to wrap everything up with a nice bow once the customer reaches out again.

If you’re able to turn these negative social media comments into a positive (or even just mitigate their impact), your business’s online presence will be a stable, healthy one.

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What NOT to do when responding to negative social media comments

There are several things you shouldn’t do when responding to negative social media comments.

1. Don’t delete comments (usually)

For instance, don’t delete negative comments. There are few situations where deleting a user’s complaint about your product or service is a good idea. If they are slinging profanity or posting off-topic things, it’s fine to hit the delete button, but don’t censor legitimate critiques.

Deleting a negative comment can create bad blood very quickly, particularly because people who take the time to post something on your social media are active users.

They are much more likely to follow up if they feel they have been unfairly silenced, and once other customers hear about it, they’ll all grab pitchforks.

Related: How to flag a Yelp review

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2. Don’t neglect your social media presence

You should also not leave your social media in the hands of untrained employees.

Consistency is key with any business process, and the same applies for your response to negative social media comments. You don’t want to deal with a rogue employee or intern tweeting rude things on your company profiles.

To avoid such issues, have a clear, written outline of your company strategy for responding to negative comments on social media, and put serious effort into training your staff.

Go over your outline with all existing employees, and make that outline part of the onboarding process.

There is no way to plan for every scenario, so your staff will always be expected to use their own creativity and customer service skills. Each employee should be prepared to do so at any time, with any customer.

Take your social accounts seriously, and you’ll be able to achieve a more consistent brand voice across all social media platforms.

Related: How to grow your business’s social media following

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3. Don’t argue

While you might not believe in the sentiment “the customer is always right,” you should abide by it when addressing negative social media comments. Even if you’re certain they’re wrong, don’t argue, and don’t pick a fight with them, because it will backfire.

And if you know they made an obvious user error, send them a private message politely explaining the situation rather than publicly torching them. They most likely will appreciate the tact and should move on from their gripe as well.

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Why responding to all comments is good for your business

Responding to all comments is the best strategy for savvy business owners because getting engagement is a challenge. There are many competing voices out there, and as long as the customer in question is sincere and not a spammer or troll, they are worth your time.

Unhappy customers create a dialogue about the quality of your products and services and may be a little help away from being a long-term customer.

Happy customers boost your reputation, connect your business to their social circles, and end up becoming the ones you rely on to keep your business running. Taking care of both demographics is crucial to your online success.

And with the right management tools and plan in place, negative scenarios don’t have to be detrimental to your business either.

It’s definitely possible to walk away from a negative situation with increased loyalty from a previously upset customer, as well as from the users — new and old — who witnessed the situation play out on your social media profiles.

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Respond well and enjoy the benefits

Mobile Phone With Social Media Reactions Above

The level of visibility afforded to social media presents business owners with a unique opportunity when they encounter a disgruntled customer. Your response to negative social media comments, if handled with the proper care and technique, can actually leave your business’s reputation stronger than before.

Whether the feedback you’re getting on your social media accounts is good or bad, engage your customers like never before with GoDaddy Social. Elevate your online presence on the platforms that matter most.

This article includes content originally published on the GoDaddy blog by the following authors: Genevieve Tuenge and Simon Slade.

The post How to positively handle negative social media comments appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.

Success Means Narrowing Your Customer Gap P

Success Means Narrowing Your Customer Gap P

What is the Business Gap?


I’ve written about creating a gap between your company and your competition.  This is how most businesses judge their success in their relationship to competitors.  If you were widening the gap, it meant that you were outdistancing the competition and gaining market share.


Instead Narrow Your Customer Gap


It’s a pretty simple strategy to widen the gap between you and your competition.  Instead it might be a better strategy to narrow the gap between you and your customer.  

This isn’t about growing your market share and adding new customers.  It is about developing stronger customer loyalty.  Think about it this way.  The closer you get to your customer and the more you meet their needs, the smaller the gap becomes between and your customer.  

That ultimately puts a wider gap between you and your competition.  What a simple way of looking at building customer loyalty to your brand.  The closer you come to your customer, the more you will learn about your customers.  Very specific things such as buying patterns, special needs and more.  The more you know, the better equipped you are to deliver what you sell the way they want it.


It’s About Product Share


Market share may be about getting more customers, but “product share” is about a customer buying all of their products from you, and no one else.


It’s About Wallet Share


A stockbroker sells investments.  Market share for a broker would mean more clients.  But “wallet share” is about an individual client having the confidence and trust to invest with just one broker, who becomes the trusted advisor to take care of all of the client’s financial and investing needs.


It’s About Body Share


Coca-Cola sells soft drinks.  Market share was getting more consumers to buy their soft drinks.  Then they came up with the concept of “body share,” which is about how much Coca-Cola product is consumed by an individual.  

That is why Coke’s list of products continues to grow, even including fruit juices and water.  Their strategy is that if a consumer drinks anything, it should be a Coca-Cola product.


It’s About Your Customer


Focus on what your customer wants and needs.  What are they asking for?  Narrow the gap between what you offer and what the customer wants and you will widen the gap between you and your competition.

Use These Customer Service Tales to Make Your UX Better P

Use These Customer Service Tales to Make Your UX Better P

7 Unforgettable Customer Service Stories


Inspirational Customer Experience Stories


Why do consumers enjoy reading stories of great customer experiences?  It might be that these stories personalize your business and provide a constant reminder that there are amazing professionals and companies who create a customer experience with their unforgetable customer service.

Every company says that they put their customers #1 on their priority list.  However stories like these show us that some businesses actually go the extra mile for each and every one of their customers. 

As Benjamin Franklin would put it: “Well done is better than well said.”

We wholeheartedly agree, and throughout this post, we’ll take a close look at some memorable stories in an effort to highlight those businesses who “walk the walk” when it comes to delivering the kind of service that wins a customer over for life.

Along the way, you’ll find insights for your own business to consider and some exceptional inspiration to pass on to your support team.


Trader Joe’s Actually Delivered


A woman was worried that her 89 year old father was snowed in at his Pennsylvania home and wasn’t going to have enough food for the holidays because of the bad weather in the area.

She frantically called multiple stores in a desperate attempt to find anyone who would deliver to her father’s home.  She finally reached someone at Trader Joe’s.  The Trader Joe’s associate politely told her that they do not deliver … normally.


Trader Joe's said that given the extreme circumstances they would gladly deliver directly to his home

Given the extreme circumstance, they told her that they would gladly deliver directly to his home, and even suggested additional delivery items that would fit perfectly with his special low-sodium diet.

After the daughter placed the order for the food, the employee on the phone told her that she didn’t need to worry about the price; the food would be delivered free of charge.  The employee then wished her a Merry Christmas.

Less than 30 minutes later the food was at the man’s doorstep — for free!

In refusing to let red tape get in the way of a customer in need, Trader Joe’s shows that customer service doesn’t need to be about the fanfare.  By empowering their employees to act outside of company guidelines, Trader Joe’s shows that their company philosophy is customer focused rather than operations focused.  

Their employees embrace making the customer the heart of their customer experience.  Your companies core values are integral to making your customer experience simply about doing whats right.


Dying Mother Changes United Airlines Flight Schedule


It’s always heart-wrenching when a close family member passes.  Sharing the final moments with a person we love can be a small respite in a truly difficult situation.


When Kerry Drake got on his United Airlines flight, the mother he was en route to see was facing her final hours.  To add an extra layer of distress, Drake knew that if he missed his connecting flight he would likely not see her before she passed.

After his first flight got delayed, Drake broke down into tears on the plane.  The flight attendants soon noticed his state and quickly found out what was wrong.  Within minutes, Drake’s dilemma was re- layed to the captain, who radioed ahead to Drake’s next flight.

The flight’s crew responded by delaying the flight’s departure to make sure he got on board.

“I was still like maybe 20 yards away when I heard the gate agent say, ‘Mr. Drake, we’ve been expecting you,’” he said.

When Drake finally sat on the second flight, he realized how much went into getting him onto the plane.  He realized how the United Airlines flight crews had put his needs above their flight schedule.  They were able to do this because they felt that the customer’s needs were greater than any company mandates.

Kerry said, “I was overcome with emotion!”


United Airlines staff members working together to go above-and-beyond the call of duty to help this customer was that Drake made it to the hospital in time to see his mother

The result of many staff members working together to go above-and-beyond the call of duty.  They helped this customer, Kerry Drake make it to the hospital in time to see his mother.

“At one point she opened her eyes, and I think she recognized me,” said Drake, who spent the night at the hospital.  “Around 4 a.m. she had a real moment of coherence, a last rally, although we didn’t know it at the time.  It was the last time.”

She died that very morning.

Drake wrote the staff a heartfelt thank you letter expressing his immense gratitude for a team who was willing to pull together and pull out all the stops to assist in any way they could.


Son Thanks United Airlines for the opportumity to say final goodbye to his Mother

In the coverage of this story on CNN, consumer advocate Christopher Elliot said:

“Airline employees are evaluated based on their ability to keep a schedule.  Airlines compete with each other on who has the best on-time departure record.  When the crew on this flight heard about this distraught passenger trying to make his connection, they must have said, ‘To hell with it’ … and they made the right call.”

We think so, too.


Joshie the Giraffes’ Extended Vacation at Ritz-Carlton


Ritz-Carlton is one of those few large companies that is held to high standards from their consumers.  With an almost legendary reputation for service, one has to wonder: Do they really live up to the hype?


The story of Joshie the giraffe certainly presents a compelling case for “yes!”  In case you’ve never come across this fantastic tale, the story begins when customer Chris Hurn’s son left his favorite stuffed giraffe, “Joshie,” in their hotel room after a recent stay.


The story begins when customer Chris Hurn’s son left his favorite stuffed giraffe, “Joshie,” in their hotel room after a recent stay.

Mr. Hurn assured his distraught son that Joshie was just staying a few extra days on vacation.  He then called the staff at the Ritz and relayed the story he had told his son.

In an all-star effort to make everything right for their customer, the staff at the Ritz created a series of photographs that included all of the activities Joshie had been involved in during his “extended vacation.”

First things first.  They knew Joshie couldn’t just be aimlessly wandering around the Ritz without a staff card … so they made him one!


They knew Joshie couldn’t just be aimlessly wandering around the Ritz without a staff card ... so they made him one!

After that, Joshie headed over to the pool area to relax.


After that, Joshie headed over to the pool area to relax.

Not one to sit around and do nothing, Joshie helped out in the loss prevention department.


Not one to sit around and do nothing, Joshie helped out in the loss prevention department.

Joshie then decided to melt away some stress with a spa day.


Joshie then decided to melt away some stress with a spa day.

To top it all off, the Ritz sent Hurn and his son a booklet filled with information about Joshie’s stay as well as a host of pictures showing what a good time he’d had.  What a story!


The Ritz sent Hurn and his son a booklet filled with information about Joshie’s stay

Bungie Studios Created a Holiday Smile


The belief that you should do your best to “make things right” with customers in tough situations is a recurring theme among those companies with legendary customer service.  That said, even the greats of the customer service world will have a hard time topping this next story.

In another outstanding example of taking care of customers, Bungie Studios, one of the most beloved game developers in the industry, raised the bar for their willingness to take care of their fans.

The story begins with a distraught father whose son had to receive liver transplant surgery around the holidays.

Since being in the hospital left his son unable to play the newest release of his favorite video game franchise, Halo, his dad reached out to Bungie.

The response he received from the company went far beyond what anyone expected!  First, the entire Bungie team signed and sent a card with get-well wishes.


First, the entire Bungie team signed and sent a card with get-well wishes.

To make up for missing out on playing Halo, the team built him a custom helmet based off of the main character and sent it along with shirts, toys and custom art from the game’s designers.


The team built him a custom helmet based off of the main character and sent it along with shirts, toys and custom art from the game’s designers.

His father later posted a thank you thread and a collection of images on Christmas day, which was when Bungie visited his son in the hospital and brought the gifts.


Bungie, you have played a huge part in making this smile!

“He was absolutely shocked when he saw the custom helmet from Halo Reach!  Bungie, you have played a huge part in making this smile!  My family can’t thank you enough!”


A Loyal Customer is ‘WOWed’ by Gaylord Opryland


It doesn’t take a lot of consumer data to support the argument that your regular customers are the rock you build your business on.  Taking care of them is not just the right thing to do.  It’s also good for business.

Let’s look at the case of regular Gaylord Opryland hotel customer Christina McMenemy.  She stayed at the resort three years in a row for the annual BlissDom conference.

During each stay McMenemy found herself entranced by one of the features in her hotel room.  She loved the alarm clock that played light music, much like the kind of music that you’d experience in a highend spa.

McMenemy loved the clock radio.  She felt that she had never slept better than she did while using it.

For three years McMenemy tried to find the exact model clock from her hotel room, but to no avail. McMenemy had nearly given up hope when she messaged the company’s Twitter page during her most recent trip to Opryland.

customer user experinces,customer service,customer experience,user experience,make your ux better,ux,cs,customer service stories,trader joe's actually delivered,united airlines,extended vacation,joshie the giraffe,ritz-carlton,bungie studios,holiday smile,loyal customer,gaylord opryland,lego,ninja,ninjago,auto service,customer user experiences,

Christina from OH@mommystory

@GaylordOpryland Where can I buy this Sharper Image clock radio in my room? None in stores have the “spa” sounds & I’ve never slept better!

See Christina from OH’s other Tweets

customer user experinces,customer service,customer experience,user experience,make your ux better,ux,cs,customer service stories,trader joe's actually delivered,united airlines,extended vacation,joshie the giraffe,ritz-carlton,bungie studios,holiday smile,loyal customer,gaylord opryland,lego,ninja,ninjago,auto service,customer user experiences,

Gaylord Opryland Resort@GaylordOpryland

@mommystory Unfortunately, our version isn’t available to the public, but here is a Shaper Image alarm clock like it: .

See Gaylord Opryland Resort’s other Tweets

customer user experinces,customer service,customer experience,user experience,make your ux better,ux,cs,customer service stories,trader joe's actually delivered,united airlines,extended vacation,joshie the giraffe,ritz-carlton,bungie studios,holiday smile,loyal customer,gaylord opryland,lego,ninja,ninjago,auto service,customer user experiences,

Christina from OH@mommystory

@GaylordOpryland Yeah, that one doesn’t have the spa sound.  Been looking for one after loving the 1 in my room for 3yr now at Blissdom. 🙁

See Christina from OH’s other Tweets

Resigned to her fate, she attended the conference and let the alarm clock hunt go.

But upon returning to her room she was surprised to find not one but two spa clocks and a letter with her name on it.


But upon returning to her room she was surprised to find not one but two spa clocks and a letter with her name on it.

Opryland recognized an opportunity to make sure a long-time customer had one of the best experiences ever.  And they didn’t just win a customer for life, they also bought plenty of goodwill with folks at the conference and beyond who subsequently heard about the story.


You’ve made a lifelong fan out of me.” –Christina McMenemy

“You reaffirmed that there are still companies out there focused on great service, and you’ve made a lifelong fan out of me.”–Christina McMenemy


Luka’s Day is Saved by a Lego Service Rep


Losing a favorite toy feels devastating to a young child.  Longtime Lego fan Luka Apps spent all of his Christmas money on a Ninjago (Lego ninja) named Jay XZ.  Against his dad’s advisement, he brought his Ninjago on a shopping trip … and lost it.


Luka wrote a letter to Lego explaining his loss and assuring the Lego staff that he would take extra-special care of his action figure if they sent him another one.


Luka wrote a letter to Lego explaining his loss and assuring the Lego staff that he would take extra-special care of his action figure if they sent him another one.

My name is Luka Apps and I am seven years old.

With all my money I got for Christmas I bought the Ninjago kit of the Ultrasonic Raider.  The number is 9449.  It is really good.

My Daddy just took me to Sainsbury’s and told me to leave the people at home but I took them and I lost Jay ZX at the shop as it fell out of my coat.

I am really upset I have lost him.  Daddy said to send you a email to see if you will send me another one.

I promise I won’t take him to the shop again if you can.

– Luka


The response he received from Lego customer representative Richard was nothing short of amazing.  Richard told Luke that he had talked to Sensei Wu a Ninjago character, and wrote:

Sensei Wu told me to tell you, “Luka, your father seems like a very wise man.  You must always protect your Ninjago minifigures like the dragons protect the Weapons of Spinjitzu!”

Sensei Wu also told me it was okay if I sent you a new Jay and told me it would be okay if I included something extra for you because anyone that saves their Christmas money to buy the Ultrasonic Raider must be a really big Ninjago fan.


The response he received from Lego customer support representative Richard was nothing short of amazing.
So, I hope you enjoy your Jay minifigure with all his weapons.  You will actually have the only Jay minifigure that combines 3 different Jays into one!  I am also going to send you a bad guy for him to fight!

Just remember, what Sensei Wu said: keep your minifigures protected like the Weapons of Spinjitzu!  And of course, always listen to your dad.

It’s so rare to see such a thoughtful, creative response to a distraught customer that this story went viral.


A Lego Service Rep Saves the Day

Jim Shukys’ Auto Service Sweats the Small Stuff


Many of the memorable stories that we’ve covered so far focus on a company’s stellar response to an usual situation … but what about those day-to-day service stories?

Superb service is not limited to out of the ordinary circumstances. It can be incorporated into the very fabric of your business, showing up in even the most common of instances.

That’s why we love this next story shared by a customer in Streetsboro, Ohio.


The story was posted on Reddit under the appropriately titled topic of “I have never in my life seen this level of customer service” and included this genuine, thoughtful thank-you note.


Jimyz Automotive story was posted on Reddit with the appropriately titled topic of “I have never in my life seen this level of customer service”

The best part of this tale is that despite the fact that this image was shared on the internet, random commenters started pointing out that they knew who this was:

“I used to live in Streetsboro and I know exactly who that is.  He’s a good man, stay with him!”


Now that’s the definition of memorable service!  The praise continued with noncustomers, too, with one commenter saying,

“It’s little things like this that earn business.  If I got this card I would never use another mechanic in my life.”

Do you have a great customer service story you can share with us?  Tell us how someone went ‘above and beyond’ to give you a truly memorable, remarkable and relatable customer service experience….


11 Steps to Receiving Better Customer Feedback P

11 Steps to Receiving Better Customer Feedback P

Would You Like to Improve Your Feedback?


There’s an old adage that “You can’t fix what you don’t know about”.

In the digital age, customer feedback is more important than ever.  It’s exciting to see so many companies do post-purchase customer surveys.  However, it truly amazes me how many businesses don’t bother to do any customer surveys.

Many of the customer feedback collection methods rely on the Net Promoter Score system.  This ia a simple zero to 10 scale that asks the customer how likely they are to recommend the business to a friend or colleague.

NPS was developed by Fred Reichheld, and is often referred to as “The Ultimate Question.”  NPS has been widely adopted with more than two thirds of Fortune 1000 companies using this method to survey their customers.


The Net Promoter Score divides survey respondents into promoters, passive and detracters

It’s easy to calculate your Net Promoter Score from any survey you do.  All yo do is subtract the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters.  The calculation is that simple.  If 50% of your respondents were Promoters and 10% were Detractors, your Net Promoter Score is 40.

The importance of the Net Promoter Score is that it gives you insights into your customer loyalty spectrum.  As you move up the scoring scale, from 0 to 10, customers defect at lower rates, will spend more and will move from negative word of mouth to positive.

By measuring your customer loyalty you can identify customer experience weak points that need to be improved.  However, to do this you need to know how to conduct Net Promoter Surveys.  As the Net Promoter Score’s strength isn’t it’s ability to measure customer loyalty, but it is how easy it is to measure loyalty, which is crucial.


Net Promotor Score Analysis garphic by Relently

We all get NPS surveys in our email.  I recently was sent two NPS queries in a 24-hour span, by two very different companies.  Even though they are asking the exact same question, how they ask is very different.    Comparing how they asked made me think about the best ways to design my future questions.

Listed below are 11 ways I think you can improve the Net Promoter Score surveys that you send.  But first, lets look at two NPS surveys that handle their questions very differently:


MGM Grand Net Promoter Score Survey


I recently visited the MGM Grand for a conference, and received this feedback request 48 hours after checkout:

From: MGM Grand <> (note: Medallia is a third-party research firm that handles many NPS surveys for brands)

Subject: Tell Us About Your Stay at MGM Grand


The MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas Nevada

I suspect Medallia has done subject line testing on these NPS emails.  However, but I don’t personally love the subject line here, “Tell Us.”  It feels like a command, and lacks warmth and empathy.

Other observations:

  1. They did a good job of personalization.
  2. It’s a clear statement of the actual question.
  3. Ability to provide feedback in Spanish is a nice touch here, rarely seen.
  4. Humanize the organization by mentioned the person in charge of feedback collection.
  5. I do not understand why this sea of logos is included here.  We know MGM Grand is where I stayed.  However, it is not relevant in this interaction to collect feedback.  Reminding me of all the properties in their portfolio, the name of their rewards program, etc. is a waste of space, and robs attention from the reason for the email.
  6. I appreciate the inclusion of an opt-out mechanism in the footer of their email.


The worst sin their email committs, it’s not mobile-friendly.  This survey on my iPhone, required a side-scroll to participate.  The survey itself would be very easy to make work in mobile.  The spacing required putting on a sea of logos creates the problem!

Anything that you want to receive a response to must be kept as simple as possible.  The K.I.S.S. principle really does work.


More of your customers are using mobile as their primary or only email access point.

This is certainly an issue, as more and more customers are using mobile devices as their primary or only email access point.

Also of interest is the reminder email that MGM Grand sends out two days later to people who have not yet participated in the NPS survey.  This email has the same subject line with the addition of “Reminder:”, similar body copy, but a more compact footer.

It’s still not mobile-friendly.  It appears that perhaps the flaw lies with the email templates used for the initial NPS appeal, rather than the reminder.  I feel that this second email should have a completely different tone, message, and subject line.  

If you didn’t participate the first time, it’s probably not because you forgot and need a “reminder.”  Their second email “reminder” reminded me how my six year-old grandson can stay on message when he wants a snack because he’s hungry 10 minutes before we serve dinner.  

The reason you didn’t respond was because you chose not to do so.  A better strategy would be to change your approach and message in any follow-up email.


ClusterTruck Net Promoter Score Survey


ClusterTruck is a mobile restaurant and food delivery service with locations in Indianapolis, Bloomington, with several more cities on the way.  My wife received this NPS survey from Clustertruck the morning after food delivery.  

From: Chef Tim <>

Subject: Alyson, how was your ClusterTruck?

I love the personalization and humanity right up front on this one. The email is “from” the Chef, not the company.  Terrific!  Plus, using first name personalization in the subject line itself is a smart move that typically increases open rate.


ClusterTruck is a mobile restaurant and food delivery service with several locations

Other observations:

  1. Outstanding addition to the personalization and humanization by using photo of the real Chef Tim (presumably).
  2. Excellent emphasis that this feedback is ACTUALLY READ by a real person.
  3. I do not like the vagueness of the query here. “How did we do?” followed by a NPS scale is not confusing necessarily, but is too imprecise.
  4. Terrific reminder of what items were ordered.
  5. While not particularly offensive, inclusion of social media logos in the footer is perhaps superfluous, especially without a request to follow on those platforms.
  6. No opt-out available, which is a problem, and perhaps a violation of CAN-SPAM regulations.

The Clustertruck email renders perfectly on a mobile device.


The Post-Click Experience


Upon clicking somewhere on the zero to 10 scale, both emails take you to a web page.  The MGM Net Promoter Score survey asks you for a reason why you gave the score you did, and then takes you to the front end of a VERY long survey.  

It’s largely a marketing wolf in market research clothing.  The MGM Grand comes across as being full of themselves.  It’s as if they are telling us, “you’re lucky we let you stay in our hotel, now sit down and answer our damn questions.”  That doesn’t give me a warm and fuzzy feeling.

However, ClusterTruck handles their survey very differently.  After picking a score on the ClusterTruck email, participants go to a web page where you are asked to provide commentary.  After submitting some, you are asked to rate ClusterTruck on Facebook.  The survey then concludes.  ClusterTruck understands the K.I.S.S. principle.

Which approach would be more likely to get your response?  

Which survey would get the better response from you?


How You Can Improve Your NPS Surveys


What have we learned, and what are the recommended elements of good NPS surveys:

  1. Ask in your subject line; don’t command.
  2. Personalize wherever possible, including the subject line.
  3. Humanize wherever possible, including in the “from” line. Also, add a photo of a company representative.
  4. Make clear that one or more real people will be reading these responses if that’s the case.
  5. Provide an easy way for customers to participate in other languages.
  6. Make the NPS survey email mobile-friendly.
  7. Remind customers what they ordered or purchased.
  8. Don’t clutter the email with icons, logos, or other unnecessary visuals.
  9. Provide an opt-out mechanism.
  10. If you send a second email to non-participants, change your approach.
  11. Make their post-click experience simple and straightforward.