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Don’t make things right, make them better

January 22, 2014  By Kelly Gregorio

Jan. 22, 2014 – Kelly Gregorio talks about elevating the customer experience. When mistakes happen it is important to handle them correctly and turn them into opportunities for amazing service.

Jan. 22, 2014 – To most people, customer service seems like common sense. There is a client that needs to be catered to, in some cases a mistake that needs to be dealt with and almost always, the desire to leave them wanting to come back for more. Yet, despite the simple explanation, some people just don’t “get it.”

When it comes to exceptional customer service, perhaps the most important thing is how we handle our mistakes. There is a common misconception that, being in the customer service industry, our job is to make things right. In reality, our goal should be to make them exceptional.


Even things out

When dealing with a client related issue the first thing you have to do is hear a person out. Understand what has gone wrong and where they are coming from. Gauge what they would like (and you reasonably can do) to even the situation out.
The steps are as follows: reiterate their issue for confirmation, apologize for it, and fix it as quick and efficiently as humanly possible. Afterwards be sure to follow up with a final apology and the assurance that things are better now. But, wait! It does not stop there.

Turn mistakes into a surprise

Just because you’ve evened things out does not mean you’ve won your customers over in any sort of way. Chances are the issues they encountered were an inconvenience that in a perfect world would have never happened at all. You’ve made things right, now its your chance to make them better than expected.
The accommodation here will vary from industry to industry.

An online merchant might offer free shipping, a marketing agency might throw in the perk of free promotional items, and a photographer might take it upon himself or herself to frame the best photo from a set…
It’s all about going the extra mile, pushing the mistake and your sales aside for the sake of your future with this client. Your goal is to get them to forget about the former issue and instead marvel at your additional step.

Know your boundaries

In the case of exceptional customer service you are the artist. With a brush in your hand you do have the power to paint an ugly misstep into a beautiful picture. Advice like this is that much more important when considering the power of word-of-mouth via social media.

People are going to talk about their experience regardless – when your business is mentioned do you want the results to be unfavorable to unforgettable?
In the same breath it is important to understand your limits. Unfortunately we cannot make everyone happy. Stubborn thorns will try to stick in your side, but don’t let them.

The point is that you make the effort and try; not just to even things out but to make them exceptionally better. After all your reputation is at stake with every interaction that you make.

Kelly Gregorio writes about small business trends and tips while working at Advantage Capital Funds, a company that provides businesses working capital. You can connect with her through the comments section of her daily business blog,

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