This above and beyond customer service story was originally published in The Celebrity Experience: Insider Secrets to Delivering Red-Carpet Customer Service.
Jackie Anderson shares the story of the above and beyond customer service she received at her local Publix Super Market.
“It was Christmastime in 1999 in Florida, and I had several family members visiting from my hometown in Indiana for the holidays. We planned our meals, created our list, and I headed out to my local Publix Super Market.
On my grocery list were the ingredients for a special chicken dish I created that everyone loves. I needed four packages of already cooked southwest chicken strips. I went to pick them up, but saw only two in the case. I searched everywhere in the case but couldn’t find another two anywhere. I asked a nearby Publix employee if he could check in the back to see if there were any more packages stored away. He did and came back with the news that there were none.
I explained to the clerk that I really didn’t have time to travel all the way to another Publix to see if it had what I needed because I had guess waiting on me for dinner. To my amazement, he offered to drive to another nearby Publix to pick it up while I continued with my shopping!
While I was checking out, he came back with the two packages of chicken. I thanked him profusely and was so impressed with that special [above and beyond customer service], that I let his manager know what a lifesaver he was.
I bragged about it for weeks afterward to anyone who would listen. I still do my grocery shopping at Publix and always will.”
All these years later, it’s still one of my favorite stories of above and beyond customer service. You can see how that one gesture from a star employee increased the Jackie’s loyalty to Publix! Furthermore, I’ll bet it making Jackie’s day made that employee’s day as well!
From this point forward, resolve to own whatever challenge, request, or problem is in front of you. Remove the phrases “it’s not my job” and “you’ve got the wrong department” from your vocabulary. Stick with your customer until the problem is solved or the customer is with the person you know for sure can solve the problem. Make it your personal mission to ensure all your customers have the answers they are looking for, and go the extra mile to delight them. When you and your team get in the habit of saying YES to your customers, and solving their problems creatively, your customers will spread the word. That’s when you and your company become the STARS!
Donna Cutting is the author of The Celebrity Experience: Insider Secrets to Delivering Red-Carpet Customer Service (Wiley, 2008) and 501 Ways to Roll Out the Red Carpet for Your Customers (Career Press, 2015). She’s spoken in 45 of the 50 states and is an in-demand customer service speaker. As the Founder & CEO of Red-Carpet Learning Systems, Inc., she leads a team of customer service consultants who provide tools and training to help leaders engage their teams to improve the customer experience. For more customer service tips, SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube Channel and follow Donna on Twitter at @donnacutting