I thought it was time to share some inspirational service stories. As usual, your job is to keep thinking, ‘How can I use this?’


Shopping Nightmare

Imagine the dread of buying £70 worth of shopping and then realising you have no method of payment.

This is what happened to one of our clients, Nikki, at her local Waitrose in Oxford.

‘Do you have Apple Pay?’

‘Could you call someone and get them to bring a card?’

The check-out ‘partner’ was running out of suggestions.

The situation looked embarrassing.

And then a solution.  A young girl, working part-time in the holidays (mainly moving trollies), offered to pay.  She asked Nikki if she wouldn’t mind transferring the funds back to her when she got home.

Phew, embarrassment avoided.

Of course, Nikki paid her immediately and added a lovely tip for her kindness.

What I love about this example is the way an individual took ownership and responsibility – not the company, not a manager.

Just someone being human


Beautiful Moment

We worked recently with the brilliant National Trust, Wales.  Assistant Director, Luke Potter, told me the most moving story.

A Room Guide at one of their beautiful properties was sharing his knowledge with the last group of the day.

He couldn’t help but notice that one elderly gentleman seemed a little distant.

As they began to move to the next room, the guide asked him if everything was okay.

The gentleman said, ‘I buried my wife this morning.  She loved visiting here and this was her favourite room.’

The guide asked him if he would like to be left alone with his memories. ‘I’ll get you a cup of tea; stay here as long as you like’.


Great Delivery

Jonathan Turner ordered some bamboo from Athelas Plants in East Sussex.  He was thrilled when this confirmation of dispatch arrive:


Dear Jonathan Turner

Your Bamboo has been carefully transported from our forests deep within the Tibetan foothills to our nursery. There your plants were lovingly cleansed and prepared for their journey before being blessed by Buddhist monks at an ancient hill top monastery.

Once packaged we had a wonderful and moving celebration which ended with all our staff marching down the main street to the couriers where the entire town joined us in wishing farewell to your order.

We all are, as you can imagine, quite exhausted but thankfully the nursery is now slowly returning to normal.

Thank you so much for being part of this experience, you really have been one of, if not our favourite customer of the year.

but really….

Your order has actually been dispatched today on a next day service using Tuffnells. Tuffnells don’t offer timed deliveries, but if you want an idea of your delivery time you can call them in the morning on 0114 256 1111 and quote your postcode or order reference – TBC-3863

Your consignment will not require a signature so if you are not at home it will be left safe in a safe place.


Do you have a great customer service story you’d like to share? Even if it’s about you, don’t be modest, go for it and share here.

Be Brilliant


PS   I’ve just been confirmed as the host for an amazing public event in April.  Will announce next week. Super excited!


  1. January 24th 2019 by Margaret Whittaker

    I had a small clothes and haberdashery shop in a small village in the early 70s. I put wool away to be purchased a ball at a time. I ordered old fashioned corsets individually for old ladies. I gave out sweets at Christmas and ran a Christmas club from October. All what I expected to do and loved doing. One day a lady came with a large bunch of flowers – she said – “I have never heard you say a wrong word about anybody – you go out of your way to help and you never gossip – oh and there is the mark on your door that says gypsies welcome. So these are for you.” I recalled giving a young gypsy woman with 2 children younger than mine their decent cast offs – didn’t know I had “the mark”. Would love to go back to that local shopping. But what a lovely customer.

    1. January 24th 2019 by Michael Heppell

      What a lovely story Margaret. Thank you for sharing.

      I think many smaller retailers could learn a lot from that. Don’t try to be like the big guys be a part of the community. Tough but worth doing.

  2. January 28th 2019 by Jess

    At a previous company, the principal of one of my key 15 customers passed away. She was an INCREDIBLE woman, and had transformed many students lives. I drove the 30 miles to the college, on a ‘sales’ trip that was unqualified and by any measurable standard ‘pointless’ – but I genuinely cared for these people’s grief and I wanted them to know that. In fact at the time I had thought that spending my time in that way may be considered irresponsible and silly by my boss, but I couldn’t just ignore what had happened. I bought some flowers from a local florist and took them in. The deputy principle was in the lobby supporting students and staff alike. He took one look at me and welled up, he had realised that I am human, not just an account manager, and I really cared. He took me to her daughter to give her the flowers (she worked on reception there), and from then on our relationship was different. I was not expecting this.

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