Wednesday, November 6, 2013

3 Great Ways To Right A Wrong With Customers

Mistakes happen. As much as we may work on our strategy, plan out our tactics, and execute with a goal of flawlessness, things do not always go smoothly. Like Paul Giamatti says, we're human. Oh, and technology isn't perfect. It breaks. A lot. So, something things happen. 

What matters more than the mistake though is the correction. Yesterday, I received a strange email from Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Football that was soon followed by an explanation that not only made me laugh, but left me with a better impression of the brand than if an error had never been made at all. Yeah, so I lost big in week 9. So, what? That's not the point. Yahoo! won me over because they followed a few simple principles which can be applied to many customer service situations. They are as follows: 

  1. Own up to mistakes - This advice was given to most of us as children. It absolutely applies when dealing with customers. A customer doesn't want you to pass blame or deny responsibility. And, ignoring a mistake is risky because that may be the last impression you leave on your customer. So, admit fault and apologize before taking action.  
  2. Laugh it off - Some situations call for a more serious approach, of course. But, if it's something small you can laugh at yourself for, go for it every time. Inject a little humor to the situation, and show your customer you're human. 
  3. Deliver the goods - When all is said and done, the customer must be satisfied. Give them what they were expecting to get at the beginning of this interaction, and all is usually forgiven. If expectations go unfulfilled, this could be the last time you get that customer's business, and they just might tell a few friends.
I'll be sticking with Yahoo! for my league next year, partially due to this little fumble. You can see a shot of their email below. What tactics do you employ to right a wrong for your customer?