My car has a dented rear bumper. Recently, I asked a co-worker about a repair shop that she had used when she had been in a collision. She told me that she was satisfied with their work, but they had taken longer to fix her car than they originally told her. To make up for their mistake, they gave her a $500 credit in extra body work that she’s going to use on another car.
This wasn’t so much a mistake as it was a miscalculation as to the time needed to complete the repair. In more serious cases, the product is defective, or an employee enters the wrong information into the computer ordering something different than the customer wanted. Then there’s also those “mistakes” made by the customer that the customer blames on the business.
I decided to have my car repaired at the same place where my co-worker repaired hers. I like the fact that the business acknowledged its “miscalculation” and went out of their way to make the customer happy. (Really, how much did it cost the business? The cusotomer got a $500 credit, but the wholesale cost of that was probably $100 or less.) Referring me probably made up for that, and there’s no telling how much additional business they’ll get in referrals from her other friends and co-workers. Not to mention from me, if I’m satisfied. (I might even mention them by name in a future post.)
What’s your policy when you make a mistake? Do you argue with the customer? Or do you exceed the customer’s expectations?
Tip #5: Save yourself some stress and keep a customer by following Dale Carnegie’s advice:
“When you’re wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.”
Then make it right for the customer by doing what T. Scott Gross’ advises. He suggests you ask the question,
“What will make this right for you?”
Following this approach is more likely to keep a customer AND stop negative word of mouth. It’s very possible you’ll create more positive word of mouth by your reaction. That’ll bring you more customers.