How customers are treated when something goes wrong

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Customer service is about doing things right, but what happens when something goes wrong? Does the company just sweep it under the proverbial rug or can we realize what a great opportunity it can be to build customer loyalty and goodwill?

Just before Easter, I went shopping with my friend Erika to a trendy boutique on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach. I purchased a designer skirt for a phenomenally discounted price; the rack stated no returns. I must add that the price of the skirt although discounted was still expensive. Yesterday I had planned to wear it for the first time, except as I was zipping it up, the material caught in the zipper and there was no way, no matter how hard I tried, that the zipper was going to be freed without damaging the garment.

This morning I went back to the Palm Beach store; I was anxious because I didn’t have the receipt, and the rack stated it was a final sale, but what a pleasant surprise that happened. The sales clerk greeted me with a smile and when I showed her what had happened to the skirt, she graciously apologized and asked me if I wanted a refund on my credit card or would I like to find another skirt similar to the one I had purchased, and she would discount another one in the store to exactly the same price as the first skirt cost.

What a great opportunity the store had to go that extra mile and make a lasting impression on me. Of course, I am going to share my story with my colleagues and friends. Of course, I am going to be a return customer, and of course, I will be recommending the store.

And there was the solution to make lemonade out of lemons. Instead of worrying about the cost of returning the skirt to the manufacturer or the price to have it fixed, the emphasis was on the customer – me! The sales representative apologized, empathized, offered a refund, improved my bad experience to the point of neutralizing the inconvenience of me having to drive back to Palm Beach, and relieved the stress induced anticipation of this being a costly bad experience when buying off a “final” sale rack. And now, best of all, I have a new favorite place to shop!

photo credit: Luna The Moon Girl

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Republished with author's permission from original post.

Cheryl Hanna
Service Untitled
Cheryl Hanna is a successful real estate sales person in Florida and has used her customer service knowledge and experience to set her apart and gain a competitive edge in a very difficult market. Cheryl has been writing professionally since 1999 and writes for several blogs and online publications

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