One of my friends, Andy Nearny, called in with a story worth sharing. His friend drove from Chicago to southern Missouri to participate in a sporting event. As he was driving through St. Louis in the early evening, his car broke down. This guy had no idea what to or who to call since it […]
One of my friends, Andy Nearny, called in with a story worth sharing.
His friend drove from Chicago to southern Missouri to participate in a sporting event. As he was driving through St. Louis in the early evening, his car broke down. This guy had no idea what to or who to call since it was after typical business hours. State Farm insured his car. His agent lives in Chicago, so it wouldn’t do him much good to call him. Not only that, this wasn’t about an accident. It was just a mechanical problem.
He decided to call State Farm anyway, but he didn’t call his agent. Locating a St. Louis phone book, he then called a local agent who he didn’t know at all. You’ve heard the slogan, “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there!” Well, they were!
The local State Farm agent, who had never made a commission (and probably never will) off this guy, drove out to help him. The insurance agent drove him to get a rental car so he could continue his trip. The car was eventually towed to an automobile dealership, where it was picked up on the way back to Chicago a few days later.
There is an old Zig Ziglar quote that says, “If you help enough people get what they want, you will get what you want.” The St. Louis State Farm agent had no compelling reason to help our amateur athlete from Chicago, other than to just help him. He was a very nice person doing a very nice thing. He went out of his way to do a good deed for a fellow human being. If this insurance agent treats his customers with this much kindness and care, I’m sure he enjoys a very successful business.
State Farm ought to be proud of this guy. This story is what customer service legends are made of. It reminds me of Nordstrom, whose amazing stories have created a legendary reputation for amazing service excellence.
So what is the lesson? Part of it can be attributed to the above Zig Ziglar quote. And part of it can be about how you can create a tremendous amount of goodwill by being nice – not just to your customers – but to everyone. You never know whom you are helping, being nice to, etc. It could be your next customer or someone who gets you your next customer. Or it could be the person that shares your story with everyone they know, creating your very own legendary customer service story!
Shep Hyken is a customer service/CX expert, award-winning keynote speaker, and New York Times bestselling author. Learn more about Shep’s customer service and customer experience keynote speeches and his customer service training workshops at www.Hyken.com. Connect with Shep on LinkedIn.
(Copyright ©MMXI, Shep Hyken)
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