5 Heartwarming Customer Experience Stories to Tell This Holiday Season

‘Tis the season to be Jolly! With the holidays around the corner, we’re all looking to do a few good deeds before the year is up. This is the time to provide your customers with a truly amazing customer experience that will make it into the Halls of Fame. Here are five legendary stories of exceptional customer experiences that you can draw inspiration from.

1. Delta Airlines Delays a Flight for a Son Visiting His Sick Mother

Delta passenger Kerry Drake had an important plane to catch. With only hours to spare, he knew that if he missed his connecting flight, he would lose the opportunity to say good-bye to his dying mother. After the delay of his flight, he broke down in tears. When flight attendants heard his story, they relayed the information to the captain. The captain then radioed to Kerry Drake’s connecting flight. The entire flight crew held the flight and delayed its departure in order to make sure he made it on board.

As he approached the gate, he heard the Delta agent say “Mr. Drake, we’ve been expecting you.” Staff of Delta Airlines went above and beyond to give their customer the opportunity to say goodbye to his mother. The bittersweet ending to this story was that Drake made it to the hospital just in time. His mother died that morning, but he got that precious time and important goodbye.


2. Bungee Studios Wraps an Extra-Special Gift 

It was a particularly difficult holiday season for a father caring for his ailing son awaiting a liver transplant. That same year, Bungee Studio released a new game in the Halo series. The young boy loved the game, but could not leave the hospital in his condition. Bungee Studios responded the father’s letter of distress with an incredible gift.

The entire Bungee team signed a get-well card and sent a package complete with a custom made halo helmet, art work, t-shirts, and more. This incredible gift gave the boy the holiday excitement his father had hoped for, and the business had demonstrated that they could give back to their loyal customers.


3. Ritz-Carlton Offers VIP Treatment to Joshie the Giraffe

During a vacation, Chris Hurn’s son left his favorite toy “Joshie”, a stuffed giraffe, behind at the Ritz-Carlton. Once the hotel discovered the missing Joshie, they prepared to send him home. A relieved Mr. Hurn told his son that Joshie wanted to stay a few extra days on vacation, and that he’d return soon.

Meanwhile, the Ritz produced a series of photos of Joshie on vacation. They made him a staff card, complete with photo ID, and took photos of Joshie in a variety of places including the pool deck wearing sunglasses and a towel, the spa receiving a neck massage, and even helping out with loss prevention. The Ritz presented the photos to Mr. Hurn’s son in a booklet about Joshie’s vacation. In the end, the boy had a great story and a collection of memories that made up for the few days without his giraffe.


4. Snowed-In with Trader Joe’s

During a particularly snow filled holiday season in Pennsylvania, an 89 year old man got snowed in. His family became worried about his ability to purchase groceries, and contacted local grocers about the possibility of delivery.

When they contacted Trader Joe’s, the grocery store explained they typically did not deliver., however, in this case they could make an exception. So they gathered items that suited his low-sodium diet and delivered the food along with a Merry Christmas. Trader Joes gave the food as a gift to the old-timer, free of charge.


5. Zappos Shoe Store’s Shocking Delivery

A customer who wanted to ship some shoes for her elderly mother ran into some difficulty with returns. She had purchased six pairs of shoes for her mother, who had exceptionally sensitive feet because of her diabetes. While the daughter had purchased six pairs of shoes, her mother could only wear two pairs for any length of time.

When the daughter called to return the shoes to Zappos, she met a sympathetic customer service agent who could relate to her story. The CS agent’s father had a similar challenge. A few days later a bouquet of flowers arrived from the Zappos representative which made both mother and daughter Zappos VIP members.

Zappos managed to make these ladies loyal customers for life.


While each of these stories presents a legendary display of customer service, they each also provide an example of creativity and compassion to a customer in a time of distress. Helping customers with solutions problems, big and small, can make a huge difference. The reverberations of one act of kindness can be heard miles away.

Sing we joyous, all together. Fa la la la la, la la la la!

Matthew is the Lead Author & Editor of CXperience Blog. Matthew established the CXperience blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Customer Experience.