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Stories of CX Excellence – Bus Eireann, IKEA, Capital One, Delata Hotels and Starbucks

November 29th, 2017

The best way to immerse yourself in CX Excellence is through real stories. We gather genuine customer stories and bring to life the Six Pillars in our CX framework.

The Six Pillars are based on creating emotional connections with customers and include Personalisation, Integrity, Empathy, Time & Effort, Expectations and Resolution.

Bus driver holds up his route to help an elderly man in need

Fiona, the daughter of a dad with dementia, received a call from a man who told her that he was standing with her father quite a bit away from where he lived. He reassuringly told her that he was happy to stand with him for as long as it takes to have him picked up. It was when she got there that she realised the man who was with her dad was a Bus Eireann driver (Gabor) in the middle of his route. He saw her dad and knew straight away that something wasn’t right. He pulled over, delaying his route and spoke with him, then checked him for an identity band.


Ikea revolutionises the cookbook with their unique ‘instruction manual’ style

Not content with just revolutionising our homes, IKEA could change the way we cook too. They have created a unique ‘Cook This Page’ recipe book that channel the same info graphic assembly instructions used for their other products.

Made from parchment paper and nontoxic ink, the IKEA Easy Recipe Series posters were designed so you could portion the ingredients directly onto them, with blank spaces for everything from sauces to herbs and spices, that you simply then wrap up and put in the oven to cook.

Featuring meals available in IKEA’s food hall such as pasta, salmon and the legendary Swedish meatballs, and they have caused a buzz online ever since, with many customers desperate to get their hands on one.

This concept is a fantastic example of a business addressing the pillar of Time & Effort, and, if IKEA decide to roll out this cookbook worldwide, they could even give their loyal customers personalised recipes based on the ingredients they purchase in store.


Capital One helps a customer in a sticky situation.

Giving members of your team the leeway to do random acts of kindness for customers can make someone’s day and turn them into an advocate for life.

When a Capital One customer discovered that Apple Magic Keyboards and orange juice do not mix, after the unfortunate spill, the “2” key didn’t work. Even worse for this customer was that the number 2 was part of his account number with Capital One, which made logging into his online banking account impossible.

Having posted his predicament on social media, a member of the Capital One support team saw it and decided to send him a brand new keyboard!

In a handwritten note, Janeth and Adam from Capital One explain how the bank thought about sending just the “2” key—but decided to go all out with a brand new keyboard.

Empathy is the art of letting the customer know that you can genuinely understand what it is like to be in their shoes. Empathy creating behaviours are key to establishing a strong relationship and involve the telling of personal stories that reflect back to the customer how you felt when in similar circumstances. Then going the extra step because you understand how they feel.


Delta Hotels turns a bad view into a great experience

Most customers may assume a company is too busy to engage over social media. For the company, being able to learn about customer issues instantly on social media can be an opportunity to create great CX.

Recently, Mike McCready, a Delta customer, tweeted a picture of his room view at Delta Hotels’ Vancouver Suites. He included the caption, “The inside of my room at the Delta is really nice, but the view, not so much.”

Mike wasn’t expecting to hear anything. But within less than an hour, he received a tweet back!

Delta wanted to put Mike in a new room. But since he was leaving the next day, Mike told them that switching rooms wouldn’t make much sense.

When Mike returned to his room later that day, he found a handwritten note and pastries.

Mike would probably still have had a positive opinion about Delta Hotels without their tweeting or pastries. But because his experience was changed from good to remark-able, he went out of his way to share it!

So, for the cost of a few pastries, Delta Hotels left a strong impression on a customer and turned him into an advocate for life.

Empathy requires an awareness of your customer’s emotional experience and is more than just seeing the world from their perspective. It’s about having the emotional intelligence to choose the right response from a range of potential emotions to improve things for the customer. Delta delivered brilliantly in this case.


Starbucks barista learns sign language for a regular customer.

Great customer experience requires you to make sure all of your customers feel welcome at your business.

Ibby Piracha is a regular at his local Starbucks in Leesburg, Virginia. Because he is deaf, Piracha usually makes his order by typing it on his phone and showing the barista. He was surprised one day to see his barista use sign language to ask for his order. She handed him a note that said, “I’ve been learning [American Sign Language] just so you can have the same experience as everyone else.”

Piracha was so shocked that he posted about the experience on Facebook. Since then, the post has received roughly 27,000 likes and almost 6,000 shares.

While you can’t teach your staff how to connect and care for your customers, you can hire caring people who are invested in creating customer experiences. Hire well and eventually, magical moments like this won’t be a rare occasion.


We are always looking for examples of CX Excellence. If you have any yourself please send it on to us and we will feature it in our blog.

If you would like to explore how your company can activate CX excellence, e-mail Michael Killeen to discuss further.

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