I’ve heard it over and over again: Good customer service leads to good word of mouth marketing and ample rewards, but a recent incident has really brought this message home.

I was at the movie theatre just before Christmas and the manager I’ve gotten to know a bit came up to me, bursting to tell this story. He had been Christmas shopping at Indigo Books & Music on the way to  work and bought about $100 worth of books. After his shift, he went out to discover that his car had been broken into. The books, among other things, were gone. In addition to reporting the incident, he went to Indigo to ask that they be on the lookout for anyone trying to return the books for cash or credit. He thought this would be a good way to possibly catch the thief. End of story, or so he thought.

To his surprise, he received a gift card for $100 from Indigo a few days later, so he could replace the stolen books! WOW!

I would never propose that we only do good deeds if there is an ulterior motive, but consider the value of that gift card. It seems very extravagant at first. They didn’t know my friend, so they didn’t know what his buying habits were. Was he a regular customer, someone ‘deserving’ of that treatment? But that gift card (which won’t actually cost them $100 in books) did several things: First, it made my friend a customer for life. (He even said so.) Second, you can be sure he will faithfully refer everybody to Indigo if they need a bookstore. Third, think of how often he’s told that story and the ripple effect it has had on peoples’ attitudes to that store. It certainly affected mine; I’ll go there more often. Finally, here I am blogging about the story of a good deed by Indigo Books & Music. Consider the added impact that has.

Do you have a  good deed story you’d like to share? Is your business prepared to invest in customer loyalty like that? Join the conversation.