Good Customer Experience Stories

By Mike Maddaloni on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 at 03:17 PM with 0 comments

As today I experienced two incidents of what I would consider poor customer experiences – both before noon – I thought I would share a couple of positive encounters I recently had with large companies.

Realizing the problem

Did you know you can pretty much return a Staples-brand product at any time for a replacement or refund? When I returned a shredder several months back, the clerk and on-duty manager did not know that. After realizing the cost of shipping a shredder for repair, as the manager advised me to do, would cost more than the shredder itself, I went to the form on the Staples Web site and submitted my problem.

Within four hours, I received a call from the assistant manager of that Staples store – not from the headquarters – apologizing for the problem and offered to process the exchange personally plus a coupon for a future visit. By the end of the day, I was back shredding and wondering what to buy next from Staples.

Not their problem, but still

Midway Airport in Chicago has two gates for AirTran Airways that are down what appears to be an add-on corridor from the main concourse. It’s an interesting setup, as it literally hovers over the exterior wall of the airport. Realizing that flyers would be taken aback by this, AirTran has several humorous signs along the way, which help make the trek easier. What is not down the corridor are recycle bins (there is also not a rest room, but I digress). As I had a stack of just-read magazines to throw in a typical Chicago blue bin, I managed to get to the main concourse and make it back to the gate before my flight took off.

I know this is clearly an airport issue. However, I decided to contact AirTran, and went to the form on their Web site and submitted this issue. Within 24 hours, I got a personal reply to my query. They acknowledged that it was not their direct responsibility (as I stated in my submission) but offered to forward it to airport management. The respondent thanked me for flying AirTran, and also for recycling – clearly not a purely canned response.

It’s nice to think happy thoughts, isn’t it?

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