Customer service often requires proper handling of mistakes.
We all make mistakes. Admit it, you do. Your company does as well. And, although we all have those customers who are inconsolable when we makes mistakes, you’ll find that most customers are fairly understanding of the mistake when you handle it properly and make it better than right.
Take it a step further ….
Put yourself in the shoes of your customer who had the misfortune of bearing the brunt of your last mistake. You’ve apologized profusely, perhaps even gave a free product or service, sent a gift certificate, or done something as a token of good faith that you are deeply sorry. (By the way, if you don’t do any of these things when you make mistakes, you may as well stop reading now…. the rest of this will seem completely foreign).
So, in your customer’s shoes, you receive a phone call or email from your company. It goes something like this…
I wanted to follow up with you since our last conversation about the package being sent to the wrong location. It’s important that you understand how seriously we take these issues and want to do everything that we can to make doing business with us a pleasurable experience.
As a result of our mistake, we’ve closely examined our processes of order entry and shipping methods. We discovered two areas where we needed additional training and focus. We’ve put steps into place to prevent a recurrence of these issue and we hope that you’ll give us another opportunity to show you our dedication to providing a superior product and service.
Again, please accept my apologies for this happening in the first place. I appreciate your patience in working through this issue to improve our internal processes.
Now, I don’t know about you, but if I received a letter or phone calls along these lines, I’d be giving this company a second chance. It is clear to me that they didn’t take this situation lightly and have made a few changes based on my input or as a result of the mistake they made with me.
How does your company handle mistakes? How well do you follow up with your customers to let them know you’ve made some changes as a result? If you aren’t sure about these answers, now may be the perfect time to start thinking about it.