A Nomination For White Castle — Customer Delight Hall Of Fame

whitecastlecraver

The White Castle Cravers Hall of Fame nomination and thank you card.

As someone who has spent nearly my entire life in Southern California, I have never had the privilege of eating at a White Castle restaurant.  It is with deep regret that I inform you that the only reason I know about the existence of the restaurant is from watching Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle.

I recently discovered that the pastor at the church I attend shares my affinity for stories of both good and bad customer service.  One particular story he shared that stood out was about a recent exchange he had with White Castle.  I am grateful to him for allowing me to share this story.

It all began when he sat down to write a letter on behalf of his 87-year-old father thanking White Castle for their service over the past nearly 75 years.  In response to the letter, White Castle sent the pictured thank you note with an official nomination for the White Castle Cravers Hall of Fame, and a commemorative pin to go with it.

So thrilled with this gesture, they responded to White Castle with the following letter, supporting the nomination:

Thank you for nominating my father for the White Castle Craver Nation Hall of Fame.  He is thrilled and I am so happy for him.  It has been the topic of conversation for our last three phone calls.

My father is 87 years old, born in 1926, just five years after Ingram and Anderson opened their first White Castle stand in Wichita, Kansas.  I have told you most of his story in my letter in August of 2012.  However, there are a few pieces of the story that I didn’t include, and would like to add now.

My father remembers his very first White Castle hamburger.  He was 14 years old, living in Detroit, Michigan.  He was making a transfer from a streetcar to a bus at the Grand River junction.  There was a White Castle restaurant.  He stopped in for a hamburger, and has been a devotee of yours ever since.

His work as a businessman and salesman have taken him across the country.  At many of his stops, Dallas, Chicago, St. Louis, Evansville, Oklahoma City and Detroit, he would find a White Castle and enjoy a great meal.  Dad has even visited the headquarters in Columbus.

In 1999 my father got a job working at WalMart Market.  He continues to this day putting in about 30 hours a week.  My mother, age 85, is not doing well.  My dad is her caretaker.  However, my dad really can’t cook.  So, every day, seven days a week, my dad pulls out two frozen White Castles that he purchases at WalMart, heats them up in the microwave, puts on an extra two pickles for my mom, and the two of them eat together.

Thank you for honoring my father.  He is certainly worthy of your nomination.

This is such a wonderful illustration of the impact a simple thank you card and a distinguished honor such as a hall of fame nomination can have on a loyal customer.  Those with the aim of delighting their customers need not spend a great deal of time or expense.  Sometimes it’s simply a manner of engaging your loyal customers in a conversation, hearing their story, and thanking them for their loyalty.

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Jeremy Watkin is the Director of Customer Experience at FCR, the premiere provider of outsourced call center and business process solutions. He has more than 17 years of experience as a customer service and experience professional. He is co-founder of the Customer Service Life blog and a regular contributor. Jeremy has been recognized many times for his thought leadership. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn for more awesome customer service and experience insights.

One comment

  • Great story. I love the lesson in this one Jeremy. Thanks for sharing. No deed is too small. No gesture is too little. Customers love to know you care. Period.

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