Customer Service: Rackspace Gets Personal

Get Elastic reader Philip Mikal sent me an email linking to a recent blog post where he posted a photo of a hand-written appreciation note he received from Rackspace hosting:

Says Mikal: “A handwritten note and cow bell to celebrate their recent IPO; Rackspace understands that customer service is the new marketing.”

The cowbell may be red, but it rings of the Purple Cow philosophy: be remarkable.

One way to be remarkable is to “hire for culture” and empower customer service reps to go above and beyond the “call” of duty. As Tony Hsieh shared with the crowd at Online Market World:

“A woman found the perfect pair of shoes for her husband and she was waiting for her husband to come home so she could surprise him with the shoes and he unfortunately died in a car accident on the way home. So she called the company for help with the return process, and the rep she talked to sent her flowers. She was so touched, she told the story to everyone at the funeral.

“This type of situation doesn’t happen very often–we don’t have a process or procedure for that. But because we hire for culture, the rep just took it upon herself to send the flowers. She didn’t have to ask for approval–she was empowered to do that. She wasn’t thinking about what is the impact on our profits. She just knew this was the right thing to do.”

Approaching the holidays in a downward economy, customer loyalty is more important than ever. How will you be remarkable this season?

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