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PisanoSep 3, 2020 12:46:38 PM5 min read

A Customer Experience Masterpiece: Stuffed Giraffe Joshie’s Adventure

Imagine the scenario: a child's cherished toy, forgotten in the whirlwind of checkout, leaving a void at the heart of a family vacation. Could this be the end of a happy customer journey, a descent into frustration and negative reviews?

Get ready to peek behind the curtain of a CX masterpiece. This is a story of turning potential disappointment into satisfaction, building bridges of trust stronger than any star rating.

But before we listen to the amazing story of Joshie the stuffed giraffe, let's discover what makes this story amazing!

What does Customer Experience Really Mean?

More and more top executives and companies recognize the importance of designing a better customer experience each passing day.

Thanks to state-of-the-art technologies, it is now possible to more effectively boost customer experience, an essential feature of a successful company.

But what exactly is customer experience?

Customer experience is a long process that begins when a customer recognizes the need for a product. Then, the process continues with the acquisition of the product.

However, the journey doesn't conclude with the acquisition of the product; it merely marks the beginning of an ongoing relationship. Exceptional customer support is paramount at this stage.

Timely and effective assistance can turn a potential issue into an opportunity to showcase a brand's commitment to customer satisfaction. Whether it's troubleshooting, inquiries, or guidance on product usage, responsive customer support fosters trust and strengthens the customer-brand bond.
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A brand's commitment to customer experience extends beyond the point of purchase. Post-sale engagement, such as providing valuable content, plays a crucial role in keeping the brand at the forefront of the customer's mind.

When you proactively seek feedback and convey to your customers that you not only acknowledge their negative experiences but also use them as opportunities for improvement in your products and services, you establish a solid foundation of trust. 

This ongoing trust-building phase is essential for creating brand advocates who are customers who actively promote the brand within their social circles.

The essence of improving customer relationships also involves the deliberate cultivation of special and positive defining moments.

But what exactly constitutes a defining moment?

Defining Moments

In 2017, Chip Heath and Dan Heath published a study on positive customer experiences.

According to their research covering 16 different industries, adding value to the positive customers brings 9 times higher gains than resolving the problems.

In their study of positive customer experiences, Chip Heath and Dan Heath invented the term "defining moment".

They define a positive moment as “a short experience both unforgettable and also meaningful”.

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This unforgettable moment could be a little cookie accompanying your coffee and sometimes, it could be noticing what you want to do through the rest of your life. 

Chip Heath and Dan Heath highlight the synergy of at least one, and sometimes multiple, key elements that converge to produce a positive moment. These elements are: 

  • Elevation: Moments go beyond the ordinary level.
  • Insight: They re-establish connections through our perceptions.
  • Pride: They reflect achievements or courageous acts.
  • Connection: Sharing connections brings people together.

Defining moments may help you radically change your life and sometimes, it can make you a loyal customer to a certain brand. 

An Exceptional CX Story: Joshie the Stuffed Giraffe

American author and entrepreneur Chris Hurn's family vacation is an amazing customer experience case for turning a defining moment into a customer loyalty that lasts for years.

A Potential Crisis: A Forgotten Toy

Chris Hurn together with his wife and two children spends a cheery vacation at a Ritz Carlton hotel. But they run into a big problem when they return home. They recognize they left their son’s favorite doll, Joshie the stuffed giraffe, at the hotel.

Hurn thinks of a common white lie to help his son overcome this trouble: He tells his son that little giraffe Joshie decided to extend his vacation and he was enjoying himself in the hotel. Hurn takes a deep breath after his son is convinced of his story.

Later at night, he receives a call from the hotel and is informed that Joshie has been found. He shares his white lie with the hotel management and asks for a photo of Joshie by the pool for his son.

From a White Lie to An Opportunity

The story becomes more interesting exactly at this point. The hotel management turns Hurn’s request into an opportunity.

They send Joshie the stuffed giraffe to the family accompanied by a photo album of Joshie’s extended vacation. They even send a personnel card prepared specially for Joshie.

The photographs on the album had great captions, such as:

  • Joshie sunbathes by the pool.


  • Joshie gets a relaxing massage.


  • Joshie has made new friends but he also asked us to tell you that he missed you a lot.


  • Joshie has become a hotel personnel at the loss prevention service.


The family was really surprised and delighted by the hotel’s unexpected favor. Ritz Carlton and the Hurn family have established a warm relationship that will last for years thanks to a little doll left at the hotel.

Ritz Carlton assured customer loyalty through a phenomenal communication practice and customer experience in a competitive industry of substitutable services. Ritz Carlton employees did perfect communication work in reply to the family’s request. And, they definitely had a significant share in this experience.

As we also highlighted in our previous posts, employees and customers are in one-to-one contact during the customer experience process. This fact shows us again that happy employees are a vital prerequisite for designing a successful customer experience process to create happy customers.

Create Unforgettable Experiences with Pisano

The Ritz Carlton hotel was lucky that Chris Hurn called them and asked for a photo. But if you don't have a properly functioning feedback mechanism, you don't always have the chance to create these unique moments.

Pisano customer experience management platform enables you to collect systematical feedback from all your digital and offline touch-points leveraging effective communication channels and transform this feedback into meaningful signals.

In this way, you can experience a seamless transition across metrics, from NPS to Customer Satisfaction and from Customer Effort Score to Dynamic Analytics Events to improve your customer retention rate, as well as not miss opportunities to create unique experiences.


Discover the Power of Feedback with Pisano

Collect essential feedback to gain deep insights into customer loyalty and fuel the growth of your company.