Customer Experience Stories

There are many horror stories to be told when it comes to customer service. Because most of it is done over the phone these days, it sometimes seems like the representatives are more rude only if because they can hide behind a phone. To be honest, I'm shocked if I get polite and thorough service from a large corporation, especially when it's over the phone. Whether your company is big or small however, you know just how important it is to cater to your clients.

Here are some true customer service stories, good and bad, and hopefully you can learn what to do (or not to do!) from these real-life experiences.


“I was in the InMotion store at the Chicago O’Hare airport. These are really cool stores that sell all kinds of cool gadgets and electronic equipment at airports across the US. The salesperson asked how I liked my iPhone (they have all kinds of accessories for iPhones). I asked how he even knew I had an iPhone. He said he saw me talking on it just before I walked in. Good observation – and a good sales opportunity.” – Shep Hyken


“My brother and sister-in-law’s house burned to the ground and they lost everything. I went shopping at Nordstrom to get them some essentials… just to get them by. The Nordstrom salesperson was so helpful, taking me from department to department. Then she went in the back for a few moments and returned telling me that Nordstrom would wrap and ship ALL $500+ worth of stuff for FREE… Now that’s what I call service!”


“A man was en route from a business trip in L.A. to his daughter’s home in Denver to see his three-year-old grandson for the last time. The boy, beaten into a coma by his mother’s live-in boyfriend, was being taken off of life support at 9 p.m. that evening so his organs could be used to save other lives. The man’s wife called Southwest to arrange the last-minute flight and explained the emergency situation. Unfortunately, the man was held up by L.A. traffic and long lines at LAX and didn’t make it to the gate on time. When he finally made it there 12 minutes after the plane was scheduled to leave, he was shocked to find the pilot waiting for him. He thanked the pilot profusely, and the pilot said, “They can’t go anywhere without me, and I wasn’t going anywhere without you. Now relax. We’ll get you there. And again, I’m so sorry.”


“This one is beyond belief — yet true. Here’s the story: I was hosting a party for 150 people and needed catering prices 7 weeks prior to the party. I had a drop-dead due date and told them so. When I contacted the caterer for prices, because they hadn’t contacted me by the morning of the due date, my main contact was on vacation and left no information! I was fuming! Obviously, they did not get my business. When I finally reached the caterer to determine how they could have made such an error, he said “I decided you didn’t need it by your due date.” I was appalled! How could they determine my due date? I contacted the management office and heads did roll. There wasn’t lost business from my event, but there were five other hosts involved and word of mouth sure does travel fast. While management appreciated my comments, they were foolish to not throw me some type of bone to offset the situation. In a world where it’s tough to get business, this was not acceptable.” –Lisa R.


If you'd like to read more of these frightening stories, click here, where this story joins many others!

So hopefully we can all learn a little from these stories. Customer service is all about karma… what goes around, comes around!

What are some your customer service stories?