Surreal Business

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Everyone has more than likely had at least one memorable customer service experience, whether that be good or bad. We've found some of the best and worst experiences that customers have encountered.

Best customer services...

1. ...surprising their customers

While getting ready to board a flight after a gruelling day of traveling, author and business consultant Peter Shankman joked on Twitter that he would be starving by the time he landed. He tweeted restaurant favourite Morton's Porterhouse, saying: “Hey, @Mortons – can you meet me at newark airport with a porterhouse when I land in two hours? K, thanks. :)” 

Bear in mind that it was no easy feat to track down his flight information, figure out where he was landing, and then drive 23.5 miles after making food. But imagine Shankman's surprise when he got off the plane to find a tuxedoed gentleman holding a bag that contained a 24 oz, shrimp, potatoes, bread, napkins and silverware. 

2. ...take advice

Three-year-old Lily Robinson, confused by one of Sainsbury’s products called tiger bread, wrote a letter to their customer service department. The letter exclaimed that the bread didn’t resemble a tiger at all, and in fact looked like a giraffe.

Customer support manager Chris King responded and explained the origins of the name: “I think renaming tiger bread giraffe bread is a brilliant idea – it looks much more like the blotches on a giraffe than the stripes on a tiger, doesn’t it? It is called tiger bread because the first baker who made it a loooong time ago thought it looked stripey like a tiger. Maybe they were a bit silly.”

Sainsbury's then changed the name of the bread and put signs around their stores that give a humorous nod to Lily’s original idea. After all, the customer is always right!

3. ...show some love when it's needed

This is a tear-jerking story, where a grandfather could potentially see his grandson for the last time. The boy had been beaten into a coma by his mother's boyfriend and would be taken off of life support so that his organs could be used to save someone else's life. On the way from a trip in LA to Denver, where everything would be taking place after his wife called Southwest airlines to book a last-minute flight and explain the situation.

He was delayed in traffic and ended up arriving at the gate 12 minutes after the plane would have left. What waited for him at the gate, however, was the pilot himself. He said: “They can’t go anywhere without me, and I wasn’t going anywhere without you. Now relax. We’ll get you there. And again, I’m so sorry.”

4. ...play along

From what's been told, the Ritz-Carlton is known for it's high standard of customer service. But the story of Joshie the giraffe is certainly a great example of how much they value their customers.

After a stay in the Ritz-Carlton, Chris Hurn’s son accidentally left stuffed toy Joshie the giraffe in their hotel room. Trying to calm his son, Hurn assured that Joshie was just taking an extra few days of vacation. He later the staff and explained what he had told his son. The staff did send Joshie back, but only after making sure that they captured Joshie's many activities during his stay. This included pictures of him relaxing at the pool area, helping out the loss prevention department, visiting the spa and, of course, his very own staff card.

5. ...give a unique service

Now known across the globe, Michael from Netflix was an instant success! Subscriber Norm contacted the company about a problem he was having with an episode of Parks and Rec. In the middle of the episode, the video player would get stuck and then continuously played the last three seconds in a loop. His chosen way of contacting the company: through the company’s chat service. Michael was the one that answered to his plight, beginning by introducing himself as “Captain Mike of the good ship Netflix” and then asking which member of the crew he was speaking with. “Lieutenant” Norm, obviously a Star Trek fan, responded as if he was a ranking Star Fleet officer.

With the exception of the first two lines, neither side broke character for the duration of the conversation.

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