In an Entrepreneur article titled “10 Stories of Unforgettable Customer Service”  author Gregory Ciotti highlights ten unique examples of how exceptional customer service goes a long way. The actions of these businesses provide us with insight into how companies can ensure they keep their customers for life. Below we start with an experience between Sainsbury’s and a three year-old girl.

Story #1: Sainsbury’s Takes Advice from a 3-Year-Old

“A rigid attitude might just be the antithesis of great customer service. Proving that they’re a company that knows how to have a little fun, this next story from Sainsbury’s supermarket highlights how your support team should spot great opportunities to do things that are quirky and out of the ordinary.

Lily Robinson (who insists that she is three and a half years old) was quite confused by one of Sainsbury’s products called tiger bread. In her eyes, the bread didn’t resemble a tiger at all, and in fact looked very much like a giraffe.

10 Stories of Unforgettable Customer Service

It’s hard to disagree with her!

With a little assistance from mom and dad, she wrote a letter to Sainsbury’s customer service department.

10 Stories of Unforgettable Customer Service

To her surprise, customer support manager Chris King (age 27 and one-third) told her that he couldn’t agree more. He explained the origins of the name:

‘I think renaming tiger bread giraffe bread is a brilliant idea – it looks much more like the blotches on a giraffe than the stripes on a tiger, doesn’t it? It is called tiger bread because the first baker who made it a loooong time ago thought it looked stripey like a tiger. Maybe they were a bit silly.’

Lily’s mom enjoyed the letters and ended up posting them on her blog. Before long, this cute correspondence was a viral hit, and the pressure was on for Sainsbury’s to change the name of the product to the much more appropriate giraffe bread.

10 Stories of Unforgettable Customer Service

Knowing the customer was certainly right in this instance–and spotting an unusual opportunity to do something fun–Sainsbury’s changed the name of the bread and put signs around their stores that give a humorous nod to Lily’s original idea.”

10 Stories of Unforgettable Customer Service


Listening to customers, no matter how young or how old is the first place to start for any company who is truly interested in keeping their customers coming back.  And it doesn’t matter if the suggestion is very good or very bad, the company needs to respond, to make sure the customer knows it is being listened to and taken seriously.  In this case, the manager wrote back in a language the 3 ½ year old girl could relate to, which is important to remember.  Sending stock replies never work, and many times makes matters worse.  This company saw a great opportunity for wonderful free publicity, and took advantage.  It is important to remember, in this day and age; even the smallest matter can go viral.  Each company needs to make sure it is done in a positive way.

Paul Rutter is a customer loyalty, repeat business and customer service expert, a keynote speaker, corporate trainer and business author. He has had the unique opportunity to live with his customers and co-workers for months at a time traveling the world, and shares his experiences with land based businesses. For more information on More Than Perfect® Service, contact Paul at, follow him on Twitter on @RealPaulRutter or visit him on Facebook/PaulRutterSpeaks.

Share This