Guest post by Kristin E. Lindeen, The QBQ! Daughter

After a hectic week of business travel and kids’ activities bleeding into a busy weekend, I enjoyed sipping coffee and catching up on everything at my desk on Monday morning. The kids were off to school, and I had nothing on the calendar except “catch.up.”

When I peeked into my “junk” email, I groaned. There I saw the “your dog food shipment is on its way” notice from Chewy. Ugh. I meant to cancel that. We had a full bin and a bag sitting in the garage. Peggy Sue, our one Pug, did NOT need another massive bag of dog food! I had also not seen the “your auto-ship is scheduled to ship in 3 days. Make changes now!” email sent the week before. 

Completely my fault.

So, I logged into my Chewy account to make the change that would prevent me from receiving another bag next month. There I saw the “Questions? Call customer service at this number” notice at the bottom of the screen. I briefly considered it but decided I didn’t care enough to make a phone call. Then I noticed the “Chat now.” And do I ever love online chat options?! I hopped on and was instantly greeted by a representative. Our conversation:

Christen: Hi, my name is Christen. How may I help you?

Kristin: Is there a way to cancel the order that is processing to ship today? I don’t need the food.

Christen: I’m happy to help you with that, Kristin! Please wait just a moment while I pull up your account.

Kristin: Thank you!

Christen: I’ve processed a refund of $86.32 to the Visa. It will be posted to your account in 3-6 business days. There’s no need to send anything back to us at this time. Please feel free to donate this to a local shelter or rescue.

Kristin: WONDERFUL! Thank you so much.

Christen: It’s my pleasure! Anything else I can help you with today?

Kristin: No, that’s it! Thanks for making this so easy.

Christen: I wish you and the Lindeen family the best from all of us at Chewy!

I was shocked. If Christen had said, “I’m so sorry, but there’s no way stop the shipment now,” I would’ve been disappointed but understanding. I was accountable; I’d forgotten to change the auto-ship. Instead, I was delighted by this fantastic customer service. Simply outstanding!

A day later, I had a new problem: The dog food arrived on my porch, the product we didn’t need but received a refund and were encouraged to donate. The thing is …. I feel like now I have an ethical dilemma! I could keep it, stick it in my garage, and call it free future food. But I feel guilty about that … 😭

Ultimately, my opportunity to donate (or not) came about by Chewy doing precisely what’s taught in the Outstanding! book: Never forget who pays the bills.


“Customer service” is a topic explored endlessly in the organizational world, but it isn’t all that complicated. In reality, wowing a customer is nothing more than this: Doing something for another that didn’t have to be done.

Like Christen at Chewy did.

Is this how your organization treats customers? Is your organization outstanding?

Kristin E. Lindeen

Speaker: Personal Accountability & the QBQ! and How To Be OUTSTANDING!

With 47 powerful ways to make your organization exceptional, John G. Miller’s book Outstanding! is the best choice for your next team workshop. Facilitated by Kristin Lindeen, this content will take your team to the next level. Inquire below. Let’s chat! 


3 Responses

  1. Love Chewy – They go even further which raised by trust in mankind. I had ordered our 3 month supply of all things good for dog. About $130. The day before our order arrived, our wonderful 8 year old perfect, loving Golden Retriever past away from what we think was a heart attack. I called Chewy later that day and explained the situation and asked if I could return the shipment for credit. They said, we would prefer if you donated it. It was at Christmas time and our vet was having a donation drive for pet needs for local shelters. We donated it in Sunny’s name. All her favorite things.
    A week later I received the most beautiful bouquet of flowers. Yellow and White daisy’s, roses, carnations and baby breath. And as I read the card full of kindness & sympathy, I found it was from the lady helping us with Sunny’s order when she past.
    Like right now, the tears were flowing and it was one of the most touching moments of my life. Such kindness and I think of Chewy and Sunny so often because of this amazing gesture. I would give anything to run a Customer Service team in this way. I’m in customer service but my boss’s think this is just a silly gesture. Little do they know. Always looking for a company to work for who cares. Few & far between. Thank you!

  2. I am so happy to hear about this customer service way of life. I had the opposite experience with my property insurance company and agent! I tried to call the owner, to explain what happened, just to see what he would say. I guess it should be no surprise that the agent didn’t even call me back! So sad, so disappointing. I have been a customer of both companies for over 25 years. A customer service representative in the agent’s office said I can change insurance companies next year. I’ve got news for them. I am also changing agents. My uncle was a businessman. He had a sign posted, if you like our service, tell your friends. If you don’t, tell us. I guess not all businesses run this way.

  3. Kristin, something very similar happened to us last week with! We received the shipment we ordered, but the 6 pound dog treats that always come in a taped cardboard box were in the shipping box only in the typical large plastic bag that for some reason is only twisted closed and not taped. so…the treats were pretty much open in the bag. At first, like you, I accepted the fact, didn’t want to deal with it. I trusted they were safe for our dog. But as I was scrolling my email I came upon the “your order shipped” email, opened in and at the bottom found this easy to find, accessible link that said “customer service”. I hadn’t unpacked the box, so I took a picture of it, emailed the photo and only said “The dog treats weren’t sealed in a box. Is this something you would want to know about?” Within MINUTES I got a reply that another shipment of boxed treats were on its way to me and to please consider donating those open treats to a local animal shelter. WOW! We get birthday cards for our dogs and Christmas cards from Chewy. They are AMAZING!!

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