Someone once said…

“99% customer satisfaction is meaningless when your customer is in that lone 1%.”

In my speeches I talk about making NO MISTAKES!  But, is that realistic?  I don’t think so.  “No mistakes” is a goal.  Making mistakes is part of life and business.  It is how the mistake is handled that makes the difference.  Here is the goal.  If you have a mistake – and hopefully it isn’t very often – you not only fix it, but give the customer a renewed confidence to continue to do business with you.  It is about “recovery.”

 

Example: Let’s say you are in a restaurant.  The meal you ordered isn’t cooked the way you like it.  The server will usually take the meal back to the kitchen and replace or “fix” it.  Next time they bring it to you it is hopefully fine.  That brings it back to okay.  What could make it better?  If the server does it with an excellent attitude. 

Sometimes restaurants feel compelled to take the price of the bad meal off of the bill.  Not only do they fix it with the right attitude, but they also give it to you free.  Sounds like an expensive strategy to me!

I’m not saying that the restaurant shouldn’t give something away for free.  Many of my clients in many different types of businesses do.  But most of the time I will tell clients that it is not necessary to give anything away at all.  Charge the full price!  Just do it with the right attitude!

By the way, if your business does feel inclined to give something away for free, if possible give it away the next time.  This gives the customer even more of a reason to want to come back.

The bottom line is this: No matter how good you are, at some point you are going to have a mistake, complaint, etc.  It is the way you handle the situation that renews customer confidence.  In spite of the mistake, you want customers to want to come back.  And when they do, you had better make sure you do it right!

Shep Hyken, CSP, CPAE is the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations.  As a professional speaker and author, Shep helps companies develop loyal relationships with their customers and employees.  For more information on Shep’s speaking programs and books, please contact (314) 692-2200. Email: shep@hyken.com  Web: www.hyken.com. For information on customer service training, go to www.TheCustomerFocus.com.  

 

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