What 3 World-Class Companies Can Teach Us About Customer Service

customer service

Studying the customer service philosophies of businesses outside of your industry is a good way to learn from the best and think outside of the box. World-class companies like Netflix, Zappos and Nordstrom have been going the extra mile, and then some, for their customers, and they’re reaping a well-deserved reputation as a customer’s best friend.

Give your business a boost by carefully examining the philosophies behind these customer service examples, and identify ways your business can adopt a similar philosophy that applies to your industry.

Netflix – Speak to customers in their own voice

Many customer service reps follow dry scripted responses to the most-asked customer questions. But not Netflix care reps. A recent customer service rep’s interaction with a customer reveals just how far Netflix care reps will go to give a customer a great experience.

What happened?

A customer, Norm, called complaining of a technical glitch. In the middle of a Parks and Rec episode, the Netflix player stopped and continuously looped. When answering the call, the rep Michael took on the role of ship captain, opening the conversation by stating, “This is Captain Mike of the good ship Netflix.” In response to Michael’s next question, Norm answered—without missing a beat—“This is ‘Lieutenant’ Norm.” The entire conversation continued with both the rep and customer playing their “roles”.


The takeaway here is that responding to customer complaints and problems doesn’t have to be boring and devoid of personality. Give reps some parameters in which they can liven things up and brighten up a customer’s day. (You can read the script of the conversation here.)

Zappos – Go the extra mile, time and time again

Another component of traditionally good customer care involves quickly resolving customer problems within a certain time frame. Zappos sees things differently.

What happened?

In a call lasting more than 10 hours, a Zappos’ customer care rep revealed the company’s dedication to resolving any customer issue that comes its way. The new-to-the-area caller reached out to Zappos to inquire about a pair of shoes; however, the conversation covered more than that, including the local color of Las Vegas life. Eventually, by the end of the call, the customer purchases Ugg boots.

Zappos’ reputation for above-and-beyond customer care continues:

  • They sent flowers to a customer who ordered multiple pairs of shoes after receiving medical treatment for her feet.

  • After running out of a specific shoe, a customer care rep purchased the product from a rival shoe store to fulfill the order.

  • A man arriving to a wedding without the proper shoes to stand as best man received a free pair of shoes from Zappos—without having to pay for overnight service either.


Do what it takes to make your customers’ experiences with your business memorable and over-the-top, and you’ll earn their business—again and again.

Nordstrom – Don’t be afraid to get down and dirty

Nordstrom’s customer care team really goes the extra mile, getting their hands dirty in the process.

What happened?

After a customer realized she lost her diamond ring while shopping for clothing at Nordstrom, she called the store and told them what happened. The call set the care team in motion. A search of the area turned up nothing, and realizing the carpet had already been vacuumed, the team got to work going through the full vacuum bags. After painstakingly hunting their way through dirt, debris and gunk, they found the valued ring.


Go to great lengths to serve your customers, which can mean doing things that don’t necessarily have anything to do with your products/services.

These shining examples of great customer service reveal that customer relations apply to return policies and product defects. But it’s also much more than that. Get together with your leadership team and brainstorm some of the ways your care team can go off-script providing above-and-beyond-reasonable customer service.