My last post, “Defense Against the Dark Art of Disruption”, went into some detail about notable failures in customer-experience for 2016. This week, however, I ran across a counter-example (h/t to Tim Worstall) showing that a little social media awareness and a customer-centric culture can make magic:
A baby products company is launching a special run of ‘little blue cups’ for a 13-year-old boy with autism following a global appeal by his father.
Ben Carter, from Devon, will only drink from a blue Tommee Tippee cup, prompting father Marc to put out an appeal on social media after becoming concerned the cup was wearing out.
Ben would refuse drinks that were not in the cup and had been to hospital with severe dehydration.
His father, tweeting as @GrumpyCarer, prompted people across the world to look through their cupboards for identical cups or to spread the #cupforben message. His request was retweeted more than 12,000 times.
Tommee Tippee, based in Northumberland, said it was nearly 20 years since it had manufactured that product, but has now rediscovered the design and found the mould used to make the two-handled originals, stored in a usable condition in China.
It has said it will make a run of 500 cups to ensure ‘that Ben has a lifetime supply and that his family won’t ever have to worry about finding another cup’.
While I don’t know what it cost them to find the molds and run a one-off batch of cups, I suspect that the value of the positive global media coverage should substantially offset it. As a father, I know that the gesture was priceless.