This is a “please read” love letter to every business out there, large and small, to owners and marketing managers, to communications directors and CEOs. This is customer service, this is HR and well trained employees, this is public relations and social media. This is good business.
Did I tell y’all the broken luggage story yet? (Nope.. blog idea captured but languishing in digital purgatory.) Anyhow..
Reader’s Digest Condensed Version: instead of proactively handling the situation, Carnival made us do all the work (which came out ok in the end), they missed the boat – PUN! – on turning a problem into customer service gold.
A couple weeks ago, I went to TomatoJam at South City Kitchen Vinings and our appetizers took too long. Which we barely noticed. Yes it was a long time but not crazy, we were sipping our wine and chatting, generally enjoying the evening.
The server apologized. The manager did. We never complained. Then gave us soups to tide us over until the apps were done. Then comped said apps. The manager kept up with us the rest of the night. As did the chef, to once again apologize for our wait.
All initiated by THEM with nary a prompt or complaint from us. Negative turned positive, done.
This is how a loyal brand advocate is born.
This is what gets them followed and liked.
This is why I always buy their promo deals.
Because of their generosity, we upped our order, spent more money.
Because of their commitment to service, I’ll not only return — I’ll recommend them to others.
Just a quick (yay! for once!) post to show I wasn’t so dumb after all as I’ve blogged before about the PR, social media, customer service connection.
It’s not the mistakes. Often it’s what you do NEXT, it’s what comes after the mistake that matters most.
Fixing the problem. Offering a solution; brownie points if you do so before being asked. Learning from the mistake, then applying that knowledge. Something we all gotta do when we find ourselves thinking more of the same will result in change, or trying new ways to make the same old failures. Got the bruises, the headaches, the ‘need wine now!” to show for that one myself. (In this case, the chef at SCKV talked about better scheduling around large party orders.)
Putting customer service first – from the front line all the way to the top of the executive food chain – is how a company can “cement a customer for life.” How a business handles mistakes is what can turn a deal breaker into difference maker.
Ever had a business or brand screw up the right way? Do Tell.
Photo credit: So many memes, so much time wasted on the Internet picking one.