Delivering great customer experience in the digital world is always top of the priority list for any business, and a regular topic of conversation with many clients. I believe the ROI on great customer experience is a no brainer as I believe that better customer experiences result in greater customer loyalty. But what makes great customer experience? Are today’s top companies geared up to deliver excellent customer experiences and delight their customers? I’ve decided to share some of my most impressive examples of customer experience and draw out what I think makes them stand out.


When Sainsbury’s received a letter from a 3 year old girl called Lilly asking “why the tiger bread was called tiger bread, 

and not called Giraffe bread as the pattern on the bread looked more like a giraffe skin?” – they could have quite simply ignored it and nothing more would have been said.

However, Chris King, a customer services manager at the chain responded to the girl explaining that changing the name was a brilliant idea. He enclosed a gift card and the bread was renamed.


Dutch Airline KLM, whose philosophy is to create Journeys of inspiration, used social media to get closer to their customers and surprise them with gifts based on their social activity. They monitored both Twitter (for updates) and Foursquare (for check-ins) at Schiphol Airport and then tracked down the passengers and surprised them with a very personalised gift.

As a result, KLM saw a massive increase in the number of people who started following them on twitter, but surprisingly the conversation on social media was not about the ‘one off surprises’ but how the airline is now considered as one of the best examples of great customer experience and how the company goes that extra stretch for its customers.


Shoe retailer Zappos has been referred to as ‘insane’ and ‘fanatical’ for the lengths it will go to please its customers and deliver WOW as part of the service. In fact, I could write an entire separate post about a lot of them, but the best for me was when a man turned up a wedding and the shoes he had ordered were wrongly delivered by UPS (and their policies would not allow him to re-direct the package). After getting in touch with Zappos, they upgraded his account to VIP status, sent a new pair of shoes overnight and did everything possible to get the shoes to him.

So, what does it take to deliver great customer experience to your customers? For me the core principles of great customer experience comes from:

Treating customers like individuals – every customer wants to be treated as an individual who has a unique challenge or problem to be solved. Business should strive to delight and surprise customers

Treating your best customers even better – get to know who your best customers are and go out of your way to keep them as loyal customers

Forget your policies and empower customer services – the most common quote from customer services is ‘our policy doesn’t allow us to do……’ Forget your unfriendly business policies and empower your customer service team to do their job and delight the customer

Be quick to respond – too often the auto-generated response says I will hear back within 7 days. As a customer I want ‘near’ instant responses when I get in touch because I want to deal with the issue now. Find a way to offer near instant solutions to your customers

Be human when talking – customers want to be talked to by other humans who can empathise and understand their problems, and are then empowered to do something to help them

What great customer experience examples do you have? Have you experienced any yourself? Do you have a view on what it takes to deliver great customer experience? Please share your views and opinions in the comments below