No company or employee is perfect. Things do not always go well, and that’s life. What happens when you or your employees make a mistake?
I just had an experience worth sharing. I ordered lunch to be delivered for my mother’s 88th birthday party from a local deli, in Coral Springs Florida.
Having previously ordered from this same deli, I checked to make sure they pulled the last order for delivery information, as it was not the same as my billing address. Check. Verified!
The lunch was scheduled for 11:45 AM. At 11:35 I was a little surprised it was not there yet and called just to check. I was told it was minutes away. GREAT! Five minutes later I received a call saying they arrived, however, no one was answering the door. Hummmmm
Well, you guessed it, they delivered to my home address instead of mom’s nursing home. Luckily, I live very close to mom. They were not that late, so things worked out. I’m not an overreacting kind of person, but I was a little concerned. Would I order from them again?
Yes, indeed I will. Let me tell you why!
- They previously earned credibility. You see, on a prior order, I was very impressed with the level of service from the catering representative. I’m surely a little fish in the big realm of customers they serve, but she made me feel most important.
- They reached out after the service with a survey (great sign!). I completed it and made special mention of the most impressive catering representative. I happened to run into her at a Chamber event just two days later and she thanked me. Another great sign. Some companies get feedback and file it away. This company recognized their employee.
- When I called to inquire about this most recent service, the restaurant took my call, immediately followed up, and turned the driver around. No voice mail run around – they took care of the problem, efficiently and effectively.
- The catering representative immediately called me, and although I did not hear the phone, she left an amazingly high service level response. She also sent me an email. She explained how it happened; she took full responsibility, she was sincerely apologetic. And, she removed the charge from my credit card.
I called her after the event to thank her, and tell her how very impressed I was with her response. She turned that lemon into lemonade. In fact, the entire team was on top of their game.
Five keys to turning an upset customer to a promoting fan:
- Fix problems quickly. You probably know what can happen – be prepared with a plan and an engaged team that will go into action.
- No one cares why, and no one wants to hear about who screwed up. Just take responsibility and be genuine.
- Do more than expected when resolving the problem.
- Before you have a problem, earn trust and credibility. It’s like having money in the bank for an emergency. You just might need it some day!
- Always circle back after the event or situation to be sure that your solution worked. (Recently I had another debacle with a different service. The sales person tried to resolve it, but his temp fix did not work. I still have not heard back from him. Does he think his solution worked? I don’t know. Not a good situation for future business from me, that’s for sure!)
What is the likelihood that a little fish like me just might write about a good (or bad) experience? Higher than you can imagine. My website, blog, and my 5,000 plus contacts on LinkedIn just might see this, as well as some Facebook and Twitter connections. Oh, right, and the couple hundred people that receive my newsletter plus my many friends at the Coral Springs Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Technology gives us the ability to share information so rapidly; we can’t take chances. We WILL make mistakes. That’s understandable. We must however quickly recover, and fix root causes to retain trust. As impressed as I am, if this continued there would be a bigger problem.
Who turned this lemon into lemonade? Who had the processes in place and engaged team to quickly turn this situation around? Hats off to TooJay’s in Coral Springs, Florida and especially their Catering Sales Representative Donna Corbiseri for creating a loyal fan. You rock! You make great lemonade (smile), and yes, I will be back – with friends!
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