Have you ever had an experience with a brand that completely wowed you? So much so that you just had to tell everyone you know?
You’re not alone. In fact, 72% of consumers reported sharing their results with six or more people after a memorable experience.
Customer experience examples
A customer’s journey with a brand is unique, and a personalized experience can create a lasting impression that makes all the difference in the way a brand is perceived. Creating happy customers is one of the easiest ways to build brand advocates, which can be an incredibly useful (and free) form of marketing for any brand.
I’ve asked a group of marketing professionals who know what it takes to provide awesome customer experiences to share their favorite interactions they’ve personally had with a brand.
1. Think of others before yourself
“My best experience was with Chewy.com. I purchased a collar for my dog via their site, measured correctly and when it came, it was too big. I was in touch with customer service and they didn't hassle me to return the item or even ask for proof of purchase. They simply told me to donate the collar to a needy animal. I was SO moved, especially since there are so many needy animals. Chewy.com proved they are not greedy but the reverse. I donated the collar to a dog rescue group who really appreciated it. I won't hesitate to make another purchase from Chewy.com and refer friends.”
-Susan Gold, SGC, LLC
2. Recognize loyal customers
“My best brand experience came from America's sweetheart: Chili's. My now-wife and I took some of our engagement photos there while we were having some queso, so I tweeted them and the Internet freaked out. As a result, Chili's ended up giving us free chips, queso, and salsa for our wedding! They also gave us tons of gift cards, coffee mugs, and even a Chili's ugly Christmas sweater. As a content marketer myself, I really appreciated that a big brand went the extra mile for loyal customers.”
-Krista Doyle, Founder & Head of Content, Content Is Queen, LLC
3. It’s the little things that matter most
“I’m so impressed with Gusto.com. Their mission to make ‘complicated business tasks simple and personal’ is clear in their (excellent) product design, but I was so pleased to find it in my experience with their customer service, too. When I emailed them last year about a health insurance issue, I fully expected to hear from an outsourced, dispassionate representative with rote, mechanical responses. But what I got was a friendly, in-house expert who treated me like a human and explained everything I needed in simple terms. I felt understood, respected, and empowered. How often do you feel like that after dealing with customer service?”
-Mike Sonders, Digital Marketing Consultant, Mike Sonders Consulting
4. Exceed any and all expectations
“I recently had a very memorable customer service experience. I had ordered some (custom) furniture from Restoration Hardware. Once the furniture arrived, I noticed one of the cushions on the couch had a small tear in it: Now, I had ordered TWO of these exact same couches (same color, etc.). Upon sending photos of the tear to Restoration Hardware, they immediately ordered me two replacement couches! They were concerned only a cushion replacement would result in a die lot mismatch, so they immediately, no questions asked, ordered two replacement couches. They even let me keep the two couches while I waited for the replacements to arrive. I was shocked. These couches were not inexpensive, and I made the smallest stink over the tear, but despite this, they immediately placed a replacement order and got back to me within hours of me sending the photos. I had never experienced anything like it before. They went above and beyond and exceeded any reasonable expectations!”
-Bret Bonnet, Co-Founder & President, Quality Logo Products, Inc.
5. Prove you want the best for the customer
“The top customer experience for me was in a Best Buy store, where I genuinely felt they shared my best interest and weren't concerned about the sale. The employee went above and beyond to aid me in searching for an all-in-one desktop which I needed for business usage, and answered my numerous questions about the available computer brands and features without getting annoyed at all. What blew me away the most was when the employee suggested I check online to see if there was a better deal if I bought directly from the manufacturer instead of Best Buy.”
-Hassan Alnassir, Founder & Owner, Premium Joy
6. Really get to know your customer
“My most memorable customer experience with a brand has to be with Lululemon. While I was highly skeptical of dropping close to $100 on a pair of leggings, I decided to check out one of their stores recently. I needed a solid (and attractive) pair of leggings to carry me through a cross country move! I was blown away by the customer service I was provided. I had my daughter with me, so the retail employees felt my sense of urgency in searching for a pair. What I loved is that I told the employees what I was looking for (a no-frills, comfortable option), and they walked me through all that they had. They explained which leggings are best for certain activities or workouts and also asked me how I like to workout. It's nice to feel like the employee cares about your passion and how you will be using their product! They then suggested a cropped pair based on my height (I'm petite) and also suggested a size four, which fit perfectly! It was wonderful not having to guess on the sizing, as I had never shopped there before.”
-Liz Jeneault, Communications Pro, Faveable
7. Be understanding – everyone makes mistakes
“I received a full refund from Adobe. The software didn't have the necessary specifications that I needed, but the mistake was on me (I misread a product description). I checked the refund policy, and it clearly stated no refunds can be given, but when I talked to customer service and explained the situation, I got a full refund. I was impressed by the fact that they didn't strictly follow the policy. Most of the time, the customer service professional hides behind policies and regulations even when they don't make much sense in a particular case, but they behaved in a kind, understanding way.”
-Alessio De Luca, Digital Transformation Manager, Florence Consulting Group
It doesn’t take much
It’s not difficult to provide a special experience for customers that will ultimately produce praises and long-lasting brand loyalty for years to come.
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