In our Go-Giver series John David Mann and I often discuss the importance of empathy and how it is one of the five—what we call—Elements of Value.

I recently discussed one amazing example of such in a recent episode of The Go-Giver Podcast, and the following is another one that I believe is so worth sharing.

My long-time dear friend from Oklahoma, award-winning and best-selling author, Stacy Shelton wrote to me with this remarkable story about how one of the team members of Chewy.com, an online retailer of pet food and other related products, communicated empathy in a way that few others do.

Here’s Stacy’s story:

Bob, I will forever be a customer of Chewy.com. A few days after we lost Teddy, I received an order of his food which was on auto ship with them. I called and explained what happened and asked if I could return it along with some of his treats that had come before he passed.

The young man that took my call, James, was devastated to hear that we lost Teddy. He choked up as he told me how sorry he was.

I was so touched by that, but then he told me to keep the food and donate it and Chewy would cover all the expenses.

It is a very expensive type because Teddy had severe digestion issues.

They refunded the entire order which included some items for our other two dogs, Walter Roux and Harvey Winslow (a/k/a, the #BiteyBabies).

BUT that’s not the whole story.

Today I answered the door and there was a man delivering flowers to us.

They were from Chewy.com and included a beautiful letter telling us of their sympathy and that “the Chewy family will always be here through the sad times and to remember the good memories left on your heart.”

What can you say about a company like that? Just that they are an example to every other company that exists that by treating your customers like family, you will earn their loyalty for a lifetime.

Thank you Chewy.          

Indeed, what an amazing story of a fantastic company that has created the type of culture that results in that type of empathetic communication.

A skeptic might be tempted to ask, “Sure, but don’t they do that because they know it will keep their customers loyal?”

I’d say the chances are excellent that—while certainly they know it will be the result—that’s absolutely not why they do it.

They do it because that’s who they are (people who love and care about animals and the humans who care for them). And, because it’s who they are…that’s what they do.

Personally I’m also a customer and huge fan of Chewy.com’s and have found every interaction with their representatives to be similarly helpful, uplifting, and caring.

This isn’t something that can be consistently faked. It can only be consistently lived.

May every business have a culture such as Chewy.com’s. At least those that plan to thrive.

And Stacy, my condolences to you and Doug on your loss of Teddy. I know he’s smiling down upon his human Mom and Dad from across the Rainbow Bridge.