How to Earn Epic Customer Loyalty from a Total Stranger

There is a company I’ve never purchased anything from, yet I sing their praises to everyone I know. How did they earn such loyalty when I’ve never been a customer? They did something totally unexpected.

Colorado 2013 Black Forest Wildfire story

After the fire, (are you tired of hearing about this wildfire yet?) volunteers from Samaritan’s Purse gathered up the pieces to see what we could save. There wasn’t much left – mostly metal, melted glass and ash encrusted ceramic dishes.

Among them were coffee cups my Mom had given me which she bought at Goodwill. They were nested together in a metal mixing bowl at the bottom of a cupboard. Everything had to come crashing down from above when the timbers fell. And the heat was so intense it warped my cast iron skillet. Yet these little pinecone cups survived intact.

So my Mom cleaned them up, took a picture and sent it to the company whose name was printed on the bottom of the cups. She told them about the fire, how their cups had survived and how we all thought it was quite a miracle.

Weeks later, a package arrived on the doorstep at Mom and Dad’s house. Inside was a note from the Customer Service Manager saying how sorry they were for the loss and hoped their gift would replace a few of the items we needed.

Along with the note was a four-piece place setting of plates, bowls and cups identical to the one’s we’d lost. There was also a gift certificate for $50.00 and a Wild Wings catalog.

Wow! How very kind.

customer service training story by Laura Benjamin

Little do they know I now share this story at every customer service training program I do around the US. Money can’t buy that kind of PR. They deserve every bit of it.

When folks are under stress and struggling with circumstances beyond their control, an act of kindness goes a long way to form good feelings about a company. Don’t underestimate the impact of the small things you do for customers, guests and complete strangers.

The memory will last a lifetime.

P.S. Please share this article so the people at Wild Wings get the credit they certainly didn’t ask for, but definitely deserve.