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These 8 prime examples of an excellent customer experience will inspire yours

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A terrible customer experience is enough to make you never return to a store or restaurant. And vice versa, you’re more likely to be loyal to a company if they provide you with an unforgettable customer experience.

Here are 8 examples of companies going above and beyond to delight their customers – and retain them for life.

Moment 1: The unexpected delight

When a regular customer of Morton’s Steakhouse jokingly tweeted at the restaurant asking for a steak to be delivered to him at the airport, he was amazed when a tuxedo-clad waiter was actually there with a steak when he landed.

Talk about leaving a lasting impression.

Moment 2: The Personal Touch

Check out this video.

Starbucks has an impressive streak of providing a personal touch – with a side of coffee – for their customers.

This deaf man shared a story about his local Starbucks, where baristas learned sign language so they could communicate with him better.

This personal touch makes this Starbucks customer feel seen and valued.

Moment 3: The extra mile

The DoubleTree Hilton in Richmond, Virginia, went the extra mile to reunite a young girl with her left-behind stuffed animal. That photo just brings a smile to my face.

Most parents wouldn’t expect your hotel chain to go to such lengths to snap a photo of the stuffed animal safe and sound, then send it to its lonely child miles away.

This small act created such a memorable experience for both the child and her family – and a positive campaign they could publish on the internet.

Win win!

Moment 4: The power of listening

A good feedback loop has the potential to turn your company around – not overnight, but with time. From “the worst pizza ever” to one of the world’s most successful food brands, Domino’s did just that.

“They were open and transparent with their own staff and the public about how bad the problem was. They didn’t try to cover it up with PR spin. They came up with a plan to fix the problem. The plan was clear, bold and easily understood.”

Moment 5: The seamless experience

Buying technology can feel like an uphill battle because if you don’t know the lingo, you may feel like you’re getting taken advantage of.

At the Apple Store, you don’t feel that same pressure. The customer journey is truly seamless.

  • The packaging
  • The in-store experience
  • The app and online store
  • The data upload process

Moment 6: The empathetic interaction

Who comes to mind when you think of empathy in the customer purchase process? Amazon perhaps?

Jeff Bezos instilled the Working Backwards mentality in the company’s customer service department and it’s paid-off – obviously.

**Working Backwards (WB) is Amazon’s own, customer-centric product and service development process. We believe that it pushes us to think deeply about our customers’ needs and invent on their behalf. A typical WB process involves asking five questions:

  1. Who is the customer?
  2. What is the customer problem or opportunity?
  3. What is the most important customer benefit?
  4. How do you know what customers need or want?
  5. What does the customer experience look like?**

With answers to these five questions, the sales, engineering and product teams start with empathy. And build a product that meets customers where they are.

Moment 7: The wow factor

Zappos is well-known for its exceptional customer service. Former CEO Tony Hsieh wrote this article detailing to what extremes his team would go to to satisfy their customers.

Warning: It’s crazy.

********“At Zappos we don’t hold reps accountable for call times.

Our longest phone call, from a customer who wanted the rep’s help while she looked at what seemed like thousands of pairs of shoes, lasted almost six hours.

And we don’t upsell—a practice that usually just annoys customers. We care only whether the rep goes above and beyond for every customer.

We don’t have scripts, because we want our reps to let their true personalities shine during every phone call, so that they can develop a personal emotional connection with each customer, which we refer to as a PEC.”**

Moment 8: The proactive approach

Costco has created a loyal customer base through its commitment to quality, affordability and exclusivity. And these qualities are engrained in the shopping experience.

It feels like nearly every day, a new outlet publishes a story of Costco workers recognizing a decades-long Costco member. The commitment to building long-term relationships is real.

Plus, who doesn’t love free samples?

So those are 8 great examples of customer experience gone right. There are plenty of examples to go the other way too – but I hope these inspire you.

Need help reinventing your customer journey with the help of trained design thinking consultants? Collabo XD has worked with industry giants like Indiana University Health and the city of Indianapolis.

Get your free consult here.

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