Thursday, February 20, 2014

Now THAT'S Customer Service

"Seriously, just LOOK at the joy on her face - it was so priceless!" my friend and colleague said excitedly, the twinkle of a really good evening still alive in her eyes.

As we flipped through her montage of photos from the night before, she shared with me her experience in celebrating her daughter's fifth birthday. All day, her family had been playing up a surprise for her daughter, the anticipation nearly making the young girl burst from the inside out. Together they trekked to the mall where her daughter, thanks to a doting grandma, got to pick out a flouncy tutu, dinner of her choice and enjoy some time with her loved ones.
Then the real surprise came:

A trip to The American Girl store.

For all of you moms of young gals out there, you know this is a BFD. You might as well have said the words "Disney World" if your daughter falls between the ages of five and 12 and called it good.

Approaching the glass door, the family finds it won't open. A sign reads the store closes at 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, an hour earlier than the rest of the mall's patrons. As tears well up in the five year old's eyes, grandma tries to hold it together and mom comes up with a plan B, something miraculous happens:

An employee opens the door.

She lets her in.

She hears it's her birthday.

And the rest is magic.

The birthday girl got the entire experience from top to bottom, selecting a doll that looks just like her, taking her time to consider waves vs. straight hair, the perfect ensemble and whether or not now was the time to pony up and buy the horse. Doting and caring the staff never flinched, taking pictures at each station, helping her arrive at decisions that seem really big to a gal that's only lived five years to this day.

As she went to check out, her mom found her embracing the box that held her beloved new friend, her whispers and orientation to the family words that her mom will never forget.

So thank you, American Girl, for treating such a well deserving, remarkable young lady the experience of a lifetime (equivalent to that one chic flick where they shut down Tiffany's for Reece Witherspoon to choose her ring). You not only didn't have to, but you really proved you wanted to.

And that, my friends, you don't find every day. A rare gem. True customer service.

Now go buy a doll!

PS: I'm adding this to my "dammit I only have boys so I must bank on a niece to experience this" list. A salon and mani appointments for dolls? Sign me up....

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