Tesco – From Disappointment To Customer Delight! That’s Poetry


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Tesco's Poem PeopleDealing effectively with Customer Disappointment is something that customer focused businesses do well. The best ones go even further, and they exceed expectations and create customer delight! Here’s a brilliant example of great customer service from Tesco, and it involved Shakespeare!.

When St. Andrews students Isabelle Bousquette and Tomi Baikie, went shopping for their favourite popcorn at a Tesco store in Fife, they discovered it was no longer sold there! Being bright young sparks, they complained via a Shakespearean sonnet! (As you do if you go to St. Andrews!)

Here’s their poem…

Tesco Letter To Them

And here’s how Tesco responded….

Tesco Letter From Them

Yes, it was done in a Shakespearean style! Fair play to them – that’s Customer Delight and demonstrates all 6 of the ingredients of it:

  • It produces a wow reaction!
  • It appears spontaneous or unexpected!
  • It’s the personal touch!
  • It makes the customer feel valued!
  • It’s genuine… and…
  • It creates a ‘talking point’!

The  ‘personalised’ response took time and effort but it does make a ‘Dramatic Difference’ – it gets people feeling good and telling others – the news has already been all over the media.

As Macbeth said (in, I’m sure you know,  Act 1 Scene 1) “What’s done cannot be undone” but what you can do is ‘Deal’ with it, and that’s what Tesco did!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Andy Hanselman
Hi there! I help businesses and their people create competitive advantage by 'Thinking in 3D'! That means being 'Dramatically and Demonstrably Different'! I research, speak about, write about and work with businesses to help them maximise their sales and marketing, their customer service and their customer relationships.


  1. Accepting that this is a cute, unconventional, and rare way to register a complaint, and a correspondingly cute, unconventional, and rare way to receive a response, is this a one-off, albeit creative, response by someone on the Chairman’s staff (without the Chairman being cc’d) or is this kind of customer interaction embedded in Tesco’s customer-centric DNA? Like what TD Bank did with their customer campaign in Canada earlier this year (http://customerthink.com/td-banks-human-initiatives-marketing-strategy-or-marketing-tactic-powerful-marketing-success-or-expensive-marketing-radar-blip/), it feels like the former. In other words, a) Tesco had no prior insight that the removed popcorn was an issue for customers, and b) the response, though entertaining, original, personal and unexpected, appears to be anecdotal, not institutionalized or cultural.

    Some years ago, I had a professional colleague who headed up Ben & Jerry’s customer service. He often told me that every customer service contact, whether problem, complaint, or praise, was answered in a proactive, value-producing manner. That’s baking responsiveness and customer sensitivity in to the enterprise DNA.


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