Solving Customer Problems, Even When They Aren’t Our Fault


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Excellent Customer Service

I was in Las Vegas, on the sixth day of a nine day, multi-city run of speaking engagements and meetings. That evening was a black-tie event. Rather than take my tuxedo to several cities, un-packing and re-packing the tux, I had it shipped to the hotel. According to our information, the tux should have been at the hotel. But, it wasn’t. Apparently, it was accidently left on the truck.

It was 4:00 on Sunday afternoon, and I Googled to find the nearest tuxedo store, which happened to be Tuxedo Junction, located about six miles away from my hotel. A very nice salesperson answered the phone. Her name was Mikka Moon. I say she was nice, but that is probably an understatement. More than nice, she was helpful.

She explained that their store closed in an hour and they were jammed because of homecoming season. She asked where I was staying and said that if I knew my clothing measurements, she could have a tux delivered to me by 5:30. My dinner started at 6:00. I said, “Let’s go!”

I gave her the measurements and my credit card. It was now 4:05. Just 35 minutes later Julio showed up at the hotel. I met him at the bell stand and thanked him profusely.

What happened was a perfect example of excellent customer service. Actually, it was more of an over-the-top WOW example of customer service. Mikka had a chance to be a hero and she came through.

Let’s walk through this.

  • The customer (that’s me) had a problem.
  • The salesperson was more than friendly and nice. She was helpful. She recognized there was a problem, empathized with the customer and then suggested a plan to solve the problem.
  • Once the plan was accepted, she delivered. She actually exceeded expectations.

Normally, when the customer has a complaint or a problem that is our fault, we jump to fix it, or at least we should. What makes this an even better story is that the problem wasn’t the store’s fault, but Mikka saw it as her opportunity to help. The moral of the story:

The customer’s problem may not be our fault, but it is still our problem to solve. (Isn’t that what the best companies do?)

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Shep Hyken
Shep Hyken, CSP, CPAE is the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations. As a customer service speaker and expert, Shep works with companies who want to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. He is a hall of fame speaker (National Speakers Association) and a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling author.


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