When Customers Make Mistakes
Posted by Becky Carroll on May 14, 2007
Everyone makes mistakes sometimes. How you treat your customers when they make one is just as important as how you recover when you make one! Often, we are so concerned about our customers “working the system”, we fail to help customers when they truly need our grace.
I had a great example of a company doing it right yesterday: Disney. For Mother’s Day, I decided to take my two sons (a pre-teen and a teen) to Disneyland, where we are season ticket holders. At 7 am as we were getting ready to leave the house (we only live one hour away!), I went to grab our Disney Annual Passports from their designated spot. I couldn’t find the passport for my younger son. Concerned this would be a costly loss, but with two boys anxious to leave, I grabbed the passports we did have and got in the car.
I was misdirected once upon my arrival at Disneyland but finally spoke with a gal at the ticket booths about my plight. She asked me, “Is the Annual Passport misplaced, or is it lost?” Not entirely sure, my hopeful answer was that it was misplaced, as we didn’t have a lot of time to look that morning.
Surprisingly, she said, “In that case, we can give you a temporary pass good for one day so you can enjoy the parks. Next time you return, if you haven’t yet found your Annual Passport, you will need to get a replacement for $20.”
This was a huge deal for me! I am sure we will locate the missing season ticket when we have a little more time to search through jeans and purses at home. It was a nice relief not to have to take extra time to process a new one, not to mention saving money by not having to replace it! Most parks I have been to have required you to pay for a missing or stolen season ticket, even though they have your information in the system. Disneyland looked up my son’s name, birthday, and address and issued the temporary replacement immediately.
What do you do when your customers have made a mistake? Do you give them grace, as Disneyland did for us yesterday? Or do you require them to jump through hoops? A one-time reprieve for a customer where you want to build a relationship won’t be forgotten!
(Photo credit: Kosta Ino)