Service with a Back-Up Plan


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I love Faconnable! Not only do I enjoy their high quality apparel, I value their over-the-top customer service. And, one of my most recent discoveries is their back-up plan built into the service experience.

I bought a navy blazer at the Faconnable store in New York City. Like most fine jackets, it came with a package of spare buttons. And as usual, I tossed the small package in my sock drawer and forgot about it. That is, until I lost a button on one of the jacket sleeves. Without the slightest ounce of anxiety I removed the package from the sock drawer and took it with the jacket to my dry cleaners for repair. But, the little package contained a surprise. Not only did it hold the expected buttons, it included a roll of thread in the proper color. Did I mention how I love Faconnable?

Customers know there will be service hiccups. There are a few circumstances that bring our standard of perfection—think flight safety or hospital practices. But, most service experiences, especially those handled by “to-err-is-human” people, carry a chance for error. However, service exemplars like Faconnable ensure there are back-up systems aimed at alleviating any worry when things go wrong. Effective service recovery entails turning an oops into an opportunity. Great service organizations never leave that opportunity to chance. What planned service recovery is hardwired into all your service encounters?

Chip Bell
Chip R. Bell is the founder of the Chip Bell Group ( and a renowned keynote speaker and customer loyalty consultant. Dr. Bell has authored several best-selling books including The 9 1/2 Principles of Innovative Service and, with John Patterson, Take Their Breath Away. His newest book, Sprinkles: Creating Awesome Experiences Through Innovative Service, will be released in February.


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