You might have read the story… a traveler checked into the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. When the traveler was unpacking she realized that she’d forgotten a pair of her favorite shoes. She had purchased the missing shoes at Zappos, so she headed to its website. When she could not find another pair of the same shoes on the site, she called the company’s help-desk concierge service. Zappos no longer had the shoes, but its headquarters are just outside of Las Vegas. So the Zappos team located the shoes at a nearby mall, went there and purchased the shoes, and then hand-delivered them to the Mandalay Bay, all at no charge.

Stories like these create legendary experiences for the customer and, in this case, great publicity for the company. While this is extreme from a call center perspective, identifying and coding “special recognition” customers should be common.

So your call center touches customers thousands of times daily. Why not take the Zappos approach and select those Special Recognition customers and go beyond the basic transaction request.

Upon call completion, have the call center agent provide additional levels of fulfillment by writing a special thank-you note or sending a small special gift?  Send your customer a special promotion etc…with the note and thank them for being a customer.  Changing the perception that your call center is a cost model when it can be perceived as a personal touch center that creates raving fans of your brand is social thinking.

How easy is it? Most call centers are tied into CRM portals that can code and collect these opportunities and outputted to a fulfillment center for printing etc.  This process could be managed and reported to executives.  In addition, social media can be monitored and reported to see the impact.

Key learning … do something special, do everything you can to say yes and personalize it.  Customers with a special request or customers that have special needs should be fulfilled with extra attention.  In turn, your company will be recognized with “Zappos like great customer service exposure.”

Creating delight through outstanding customer service is one of the easiest, fastest, and cheapest ways to produce free advertising.  Wouldn’t you like to have one of your customers post on their Facebook to their 500+ friends how cool your company is?