Rebecca Jones, Clothing and Home Manager of the Barrow, Cumbria, Marks & Spencer (M&S) store uses Yammer, the enterprise social network embedded within Microsoft Office 365, to gather operational information, network with colleagues from other stores, and share fundraising ideas. So when she saw a photograph of a little boy cuddling a well-loved toy monkey, she wondered why it was on the internal network. It turned out that the boy was known to a colleague at the Glasgow store. He was battling cancer and had lost his special friend.
When the call went out over the M&S Yammer network for a replacement monkey, the response was fantastic. People looked on eBay. Someone’s son offered his own toy. However, the solution turned out to be close at hand. Rebecca recognized the monkey from a local M&S charity raffle and recalled that he hadn’t been won. A trip to the Barrow store’s charity cupboard confirmed that he was still there, hidden under a pile of raffle tickets.
She posted the good news on Yammer, but then the questions started coming in: “How can we explain why he looks brand new? How can it be explained why he’s been gone all this time?” It was determined that the monkey had been on holiday. Pictures were taken of the monkey at local landmarks, postcards were written and sent to the little boy, and souvenirs from Walney Island, the Lakes, and as far away as Blackpool were gathered for the monkey to give to the little boy when they were reunited a few days later.
Happy endings define great customer service. While catering to shoppers’ needs is nothing new at M&S, what makes this story different is the scale of the collaborative effort that ended in making a little boy happy. Customers have been at the heart of M&S since its beginnings in the 1880s. Today, M&S is a global, multichannel retailer with more than 1,330 stores selling innovative food and quality clothing to people living in many different cultures. Uniting a global workforce to keep the M&S personal touch alive and well is a challenge that the company is meeting with twenty-first century technology.