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The Best Customer Care Story Ever

Category: Strategy

My favourite customer care story used to be the one about the old man who walked into JC Penney in New York and demanded the sum of $300 for car tyres he had purchased 5 years earlier. His complaint was that they were now bald. Despite the fact that he had no receipt or other proof of purchase, and that 5 years of motoring would tax the most robust of tyres - he was immediately given a full refund - no questions asked. But what is really astonishing about this story is that JC Penney doesn’t even sell car tyres! Never has.

This story has been used by management trainers for years to epitomise the values and behaviours of customer focused organisations. They are always right - even when they are dead wrong - and you have to do everything in your power to make them happy! Last week I came across another story that gives the JC Penney tale a run for its money. Making difficult customers happy is not always easy. After all - they are difficult. Some may even be evil. But sometimes it can be done with wit, elegance and generosity of spirit - and in ways which cost you very little. My new heroes are the people who make Lego. When a little lad lost a treasured Lego action figure he wrote to the company. I reproduce his letter, and their reply in full below.

Enjoy …

“Hello. My name is Luka Apps and I am seven years old. With all my money I got for Christmas I bought the Ninjago kit of the Ultrasonic Raider. The number is 9449. It is really good. My Daddy just took me to Sainsburys and told me to leave the people at home but I took them and I lost Jay ZX at the shop as it fell out of my coat. I am really upset I have lost him. Daddy said to send you a email to see if you will send me another one. I promise I won’t take him to the shop again if you can.

– Luka”


Luka, I told Sensei Wu that losing your Jay minifigure was purely an accident and that you would never ever ever let it happen ever again.

He told me to tell you, “Luka, your father seems like a very wise man. You must always protect your Ninjago minifigures like the dragons protect the Weapons of Spinjitzu!”

Sensei Wu also told me it was okay if I sent you a new Jay and told me it would be okay if I included something extra for you because anyone that saves their Christmas money to buy the Ultrasonic Raider must be a really big Ninjago fan. So, I hope you enjoy your Jay minifigure with all his weapons. You will actually have the only Jay minifigure that combines 3 different Jays into one! I am also going to send you a bad guy for him to fight!

Just remember, what Sensei Wu said: keep your minifigures protected like the Weapons of Spinjitzu!

And of course, always listen to your Dad.

The Lego Guys

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