Contact Center Trends

Inspiring Customer Experience Stories – Part 3 – Service Above and Beyond

By Gavin Gustafson

0 min read

A brand’s reputation for customer service can make or break customers’ decisions to give them business. Customer experience (CX) has become a buzzword for brands across sectors, and providing a high-quality CX is imperative in today’s fast-moving, low-loyalty, consumer-driven climate. Companies must differentiate themselves with a CX that makes interactions simple and seamless for the customer. Gone are the days when customers were willing, albeit begrudgingly, to repeat their account information and their issue to several agents through multiple transfers. Consumer brand-loyalty is already low and a poor CX can sound the death knell for each bad experience.

According to the International Council of Shopping Centers’ (ICSC) survey on brand loyalty, price and value are still king. Driving loyalty to specific retailers in 2017 are price and value with nine out of ten (92%) loyal customers ranking this the top reason, followed by product/quality (79%) and variety/selection (71%). Technology has enabled consumers to be better informed about pricing and availability. While companies can easily compete on price, quality and selection, customer service is that intangible that will push some to the top and others to the depths. In fact, as ICSC noted, 82 percent of consumers will buy elsewhere if they experience poor customer service or rude employees.

While shifting your focus to customer experience is crucial, and learning new ways to improve will set your company apart from the others, the heart and soul of the experience your customers have is the agents they interact with. They must be as competent as they are caring, and they must care. Being a customer service representative, or agent, is a demanding job that can often feel thankless. The agents often take on the brunt of customers’ frustrations, and if your CX is not where it should be, an already frustrated customer may be pushed to a breaking point and take out their frustrations on the agent they speak to. Despite these challenges, most agents still have a strong desire to help customers and care about resolving issues. Are you hiring people who care to be your agents – the representation of your brand? Or, are you just filling seats?

The following blog, Part Three in a series focused on the individuals behind the headset or desk, highlights an agent going above and beyond to service and surprise a new customer. This story was submitted to Talkdesk and included as part of our 11 Stories of Brilliant Customer Interactions to Inspire Your CX Team.

Tesla helps new owners celebrate 10 years of marriage in style

While working at Tesla I regularly interacted with customers. This included owners and individuals who were waiting for the delivery of their vehicle. Chad called to check the status of his reservation. Like thousands of others, Chad had placed a deposit on a Model S five years ago and was eager to take delivery. When I shared the expected date, Chad casually mentioned that would be his birthday. We spoke about his plans and genuinely connected. I took his details down and promised to check on the status of the vehicle in a few weeks. After a couple weeks I checked back, the date had been updated, I called Chad to share the news.

That date would be his 10th wedding anniversary. When he shared that it stuck with me. Something prompted me to be curious about the traditional 10-year wedding gift. I wanted to see what we could do to make his delivery special. It turned out that the traditional gift is tin or aluminum demonstrating the flexibility and durability needed to maintain a lasting union. Coincidentally, the Model S is made from mostly aluminum. Immediately, I began thinking how we could create a one of a kind experience for Chad and his wife. My first idea was to have an unfinished hood signed by the entire Tesla team, including Elon Musk. I called our head of body. He brought me back down to earth. Unfortunately, this would be very difficult to ship, and hard to protect. Instead, he suggested a brake heat shield which was being turned into clocks by other members of the team and set one aside for me.

I then worked with the marketing team to create a large card for Chad and his wife and took it around to every department, including our production line and Elon, to have them each sign it. Shortly after this, their car was born. Upon receiving the notification, I ran to the delivery room and collected the first images of the car as it was prepared to be delivered. I called Chad and shared the good news and he was ecstatic. Prior to delivery, we snuck the clock and card in the trunk of the vehicle. When he received the delivery he and his wife were beyond touched. Reaching out to Chad a few years later to share his story, he is enthralled with the clock. It hangs in his office as a reminder to deliver great experiences to his own customers.

Are you looking to create your own inspirational customer stories? The first step is to set the goals you want to achieve in your CX organization. At Talkdesk, we use data-driven insights to drive a customer-centric experiences that make customers feel understood by the brands they interact with. Check out these success stories from our amazing customers to hear it firsthand.

11 Stories of Brilliant Customer Interactions to Inspire Your CX Team


Gavin Gustafson

Gavin is PR Manager at Talkdesk. Outside of the office, Gavin can be found golfing, skiing, and enjoying Utah's great outdoors.