The following was penned by our own Matt Reese, Keeper of the Gates, at Brains on Fire:
Awesome customer service at Whole Foods – A story in two parts.
Part one: I went to the Whole Foods in Greenville (like a do almost every day) and bought a rib eye steak that was on sale for $9.99 a pound. While the butcher was ringing me up I was asking him about where the meat had come from, how the cattle had lived etc. and when other customers showed up I moved on. At the checkout counter I was so busy chatting with my favorite cashier (Maggie, she’s awesome) that I never noticed that the bill was a lot higher than it should have been. When I got home I realized I had been charged for filet mignon instead of on-sale rib eye, resulting in an eight-dollar steak costing 23 dollars!
Here is where the awesome comes in. I called the store and told them what had happened. The customer service rep transferred me to the butcher who apologized profusely and refused to let me come back that night. He wanted me to enjoy the steak on my own time and assured me that the next time I was in he would get me taken care of. Three days later, I went in, got a refund for the difference and to make up for it, a gorgeous rib eye steak on the house! A few days later I wrote a letter to Whole Foods thanking them for everything they had done and felt satisfied that the situation had worked out so well.
Part two: They thanked me for thanking them! Last night I was at the meat counter and the butcher actually handed me a note saying thank you for the compliment! Apparently they recognized the email domain, looked at our bios on the Brains on Fire website, recognized me and went out of their way to thank me.
So around here we talk about making the experience amazing a lot and Whole Foods does that. They have a plan (a manifesto if you will) and empower their employees to act on that plan. When every store operates like a smaller and totally independent store, the real winners are the consumers. There are a lot of companies that SAY they would do the same thing, but there are few that actually DO the same thing. Congratulations, Whole Foods- it’s no wonder people are so fiercely loyal to your stores!