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. This week’s story featuring Trader Joe’s shows how doing the right thing can not only make you stand out among your competitors, but also impact your customers’ lives in a significant way.

Story #6: Trader Joe’s Delivers (Literally)

“An elderly man, 89 years of age, was snowed in at his Pennsylvanian home around the holidays, and his daughter was worried that he wasn’t going to have access to enough food due to the impending storm and bad weather in the area.

After calling multiple stores in a desperate attempt to find anyone who would deliver to her father’s home, she finally got a hold of someone at Trader Joe’s, who told her that they also do not deliver…normally.

Given the extreme circumstance, they told her that they would gladly deliver directly to his home, and even suggested additional delivery items that would fit perfectly with his special low-sodium diet.

After the daughter placed the order for the food, the employee on the phone told her that she didn’t need to worry about the price; the food would be delivered free of charge. The employee then wished her a Merry Christmas.

Less than 30 minutes later the food was at the man’s doorstep–for free!

In refusing to let red tape get in the way of a customer in need, Trader Joe’s shows that customer service doesn’t need to be about the fanfare, it can simply be about doing the right thing.”


Doing the right thing, whether it fits into the company policy or culture should always win out.  Trader Joe’s made a special delivery to an elderly man, in bad weather conditions, even when they don’t do deliveries, says a lot about the people who work at this store.  And the fact they delivered it for free, and even added a few items, was again going above and beyond expectations.  They didn’t do it for any publicity, and that is what made it so special.

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.

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