Ruin My Day and I’ll Love You for It

Posted on: Sep 04, 2014

Categories: Customer Experience

ruinWhen I think over the companies that I truly respect, the ones that have deeply impressed me with their customer service, they generally are companies who have majorly messed up.

It’s one thing to love a company because nothing ever goes wrong — orders always arrive on time, the product is always flawless, and the staff is always friendly and helpful.

But it’s entirely different to love a company based on how they face failure — when the order gets lost in the mail, when your reservation isn’t confirmed, and your food is cold.

I see the value in trying to never make mistakes, in trying to reach perfection. But if you’re so afraid of failure that you never try anything new, and your company will soon become obsolete.

Far more valuable to me is a company that funnels its energy and resources into fixing problems, soothing angry customers and shocking them with a solution that is so wonderful, they not only forget the issue, they become brand ambassadors.

No one talks about the restaurants where the food is pretty hot and the guests get seated in a timely manner and the waiters keep the water glasses full.

But customers do talk about the restaurants where the food was a little cold, so the manager gives them the meal for free, or the hotel where their room was double booked, so the reservations desk gives them a free upgrade to a stunning suite.

The Ritz Carlton is famous for its customer service, and not just because it strives for perfection. It’s because it knows how to fix problems. In fact, every single Ritz Carlton employee — it doesn’t matter if you’re a manager or a bell hop — is empowered with a $2,000 budget per incident to turn a customer’s bad experience into an amazing one.

So go ahead, ruin my day with a jaw-dropping mistake. But just know that if you handle the issue with grace and treat me with the best service, I’ll love you for it.

Have you ever been shocked by a company’s amazing customer service in the face of failure? Hit reply or comment below and tell me about it!

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