The Impact of Customer Service on Brands

Last week I purchased some steaks at my local Harris Teeter for when my in-laws came into town.  My husband and I were preparing the steaks for the grill when I noticed one of the steaks smelled badly.  Before I could say a word, my husband put the steak and the packaging in the garbage.

Luckily, I still had the receipt.  When we went back to Harris Teeter, I told the customer service rep about our spoiled steak.  To my surprise, they refunded the steak without an issue even though we didn’t have the packaging AND they gave me double the money back.  I was floored.  The customer service rep said it is the company’s policy to give you double your money back for any spoiled fresh food product because of the inconveniences it caused (possibly ruining a meal, have to return it, etc.).

While I have been an avid customer of Harris Teeter for about 5 years, I never really spoke about our experience at the store or made recommendations to friends.  But you better believe I will share this experience.

This is a prime example of just how powerful brand interaction can be.  When a brand has the ability to interact directly with a customer, that experience is more impactful than any form of advertising or marketing.

Want to gauge your brand’s alignment with your customer service?  Try becoming your own customer and experiencing the brand.  It just might be an eye opening experience.

Jennifer Manocchio


After starting her career with Edelman in Chicago, Jennifer joined Sweeney and quickly established herself as an exceptional industry innovator. In 2004, she opened Sweeney’s first full-service office outside of Cleveland and quickly rose through the ranks to become agency president. Jen leads by example and without fear. She has been critical to agency growth throughout the past decade and continues to lead the agency into the future.