Publicize your exceptional customer service.

I was talking to an interesting guy about customer service today. George (the man’s first name) is involved with his alma mater’s athletics department and has made one of his projects responding to feedback from fans and ticket holders.

Not that long ago, George got an email from an American solider stationed in Iraq. The solider explained that the base’s mess hall has flags/banners from a lot of colleges hung on the wall, but none from the college that George was involved with. The solider was (and still is) a big fan of that particular university and wanted to see if it would be possible to get a flag or banner for them to display alongside the other ones in the mess hall.

It was certainly a unique request, but definitely an interesting one. George replied and said that he would take care of the solider and get him what he needed. He contacted some people and was able to get the solider not only a banner/flag, but some photographs, an autographed football, a whole bunch of t-shirts, and quite a few other things. George packed it all up and sent the stuff to the solider in Iraq. After a little while, the solider emailed George and said that he got the stuff, that the base was going to frame a lot of it, and that he was deeply appreciative of George’s hard work. The solider said he would send some pictures of the display on base, and George told the solider he would show the pictures to the coach when he received them.

That is almost the definition of an exceptional customer service experience – it’s essentially urban legend worthy. Even though George is ridiculously overqualified to do so, he should consider working in customer service because he’d do so well at it. By truly going the extra mile, George made an already dedicated and longtime fan even more loyal. I guarantee that the solider will tell his friends and family about that experience and that he will remember it forever. Customer service that can make that type of impression on an individual (and inevitably, their social and professional networks) is what makes certain companies exceptional.

I recommended that George publicize those photos and talk about that experience as soon as he received the photos. It is truly an exceptional customer service experience that people should hear about. It sets the bar high and lets other fans know that there are diehard fans literally around the world and that this college really does care about them. In a future post, I’m going to talk about how sports fans are unique customers and should be treated as such.