No company is perfect. It is inevitable that employees will make mistakes. The impact on brand image is not necessarily related to WHAT happens as much as HOW employees handle a problem. I recently encountered a situation, which in the end provided great lessons that are worth sharing. While the issue occurred at a restaurant, the CX learnings are applicable to all companies, regardless of size and industry.
To make a long story short, I was eating dinner at a local place, Bond Tavern, which is known for its great burgers and milkshakes. While I was enjoying my meal, the waiter accidentally spilled food that landed on my lap and stained my jacket. I did not outwardly make a big deal though was frustrated at the moment. The waiter clearly felt badly and immediately gave me his manager’s email address to send my cleaning bill for reimbursement. I appreciated the offer and followed through.
Within a few days, I received a check in the mail covering my dry cleaning expense. While I anticipated reimbursement, I did not know they would also be sending me a gift card plus a coupon for future visits. Both the waiter and manager turned a disappointing situation into a highly satisfying experience. This is a great example of DoingCXRight, with valuable customer experience lessons:
- Follow through on promises. If you tell customers that you are going to do something for them, do it and without delay.
- Delight customers by giving unexpected surprises i.e. discounts. The smallest gestures make people happy and more forgiving when mistakes occur.
- Make no excuses when bad experiences happen. Own the problem and address it directly.
- Empower frontline employees to rectify situations without having to always go to management for approval.
- Make customers feel like they matter. Employees need to be caring, empathetic and sincere, and also mindful of their body language. Actions often speak louder than words.
In sum, when companies apply CX best practices, there’s a higher chance customers will return even when mistakes occur. That is what happened in my case. I am quite certain that the restaurant ended up with more cash than what it spent to fix my bad experience as my friends and family members have eaten there as a result of my recommendation.
Tell us about your experiences when business errors have occurred. How did the company handle the mistake and did it impact your decision to purchase again?
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*All opinions expressed on the DoingCXRight Blog and site pages are the authors’ alone and do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.