by Kim Taylor
By now you’ve heard about The Best Customer Service Story Ever Told featuring Morton’s The Steakhouse, right? It’s such a brilliantly serendipitous story, which as it turns out, is part of Morton’s overall strategy of providing random acts of kindness to their customers.
The story jogged my memory about a customer service win I’d been a part of years ago …
I’d taken a job with the Sports Authority as a customer service manager. It was my first real management position and also the first time I’d opened a store … meaning the gig started while construction was underway and continued on through store opening.
In terms of training, this had its pros and cons. While we were able to learn the ropes without customers, doing so was a tricky proposition since mock drills rarely resembled real-world situations.
One afternoon, our front-end team was gathered around the checkout area working through various scenarios when suddenly we saw an older gentleman peering through the window with a set of golf clubs in his hand. I was tasked with telling him we didn’t open for another month. After a long and arduous conversation about the 45-minute drive he’d made to return the clubs and the various appointments he was missing in order to be there within the 30-day return window, I took a chance and – even though we had no working registers – told him we’d figure out a way to return the clubs.
My boss agreed and after a few calls to a store an hour south, we worked it out. The overjoyed customer left with a credit and we kept the clubs. We created a customer for life, I solidified my position as CSR, and we incorporated the story into training sessions for months.
The Internet as we know it didn’t exist yet and social media wasn’t even thought of, but I’d like to think that story would’ve garnered a retweet or two if it had.
So what’s the best customer service story you’ve ever told? Were you the recipient, like Mr. Shankman? Or did you go above and beyond for a customer or client?