Turn a Mistake into a Masterpiece
In today’s marketplace, I submit that it is no longer acceptable to merely satisfy our customers and employees. That statement is not ground-breaking, we’ve all heard it. In most cases, providing what I call “Ridiculous” Service does not come naturally. As a matter of fact, it’s quite un-natural. We create habits even when it comes to serving. If we are going to blow our customer’s faces off, we have to stop and think. We have to first identify what it takes to satisfy them, and then we need to seek a way to go further. We have to say. “In addition to ___, would you allow me to ___?” Customers understand that it is not a matter of ‘if’ you blow it, they just want to know that ‘when’ you do, you are going to respond in a big way. Our mistakes need to be viewed as opportunities to rescue and delight our customers. When you do this, don’t keep it a secret. Shout it from the mountaintops! THIS is what keeps them coming back and becoming an advocate for your business.
We have to learn how to neutralize negative experiences by responding quickly and with some creativity. The image that I have attached to this article is an example of how an absolute bonehead move turned into a great story. We left off $1500 worth of incentives on a customer’s paperwork. When the error was detected, we had a decision to make. First, I guess we could have just kept quiet. When I have to resort to this kind of thievery to get by, I’ll fire myself, grow a long beard and play my ukulele on the street corner. Secondly, we could have dropped the check in the mail with a sticky note that read “oops”. Instead, we decided to proclaim our greatness. How would I feel if I unexpectedly received $1500 in the mail exactly one month before Christmas? Let’s turn this financial faux pas into a marketing masterpiece. Make no mistake, I have no doubt that anyone reading this would return money that belongs to the customer. The difference is HOW we returned it. Did you notice the playful language of the letter? When did we stop having fun at work? We do these types of fun things on ANY situation in which we owe customers money. Do you want to blow someone’s mind? Send them $125 explaining that you were able to secure a little extra on their trade in from last month. Try to buy that kind of advertising for $125. I dare you. The point here is that we seek out an opportunities to set ourselves apart.
The budget on this marketing campaign was whatever the letterhead, envelope, and stamp cost. Under a buck, I suppose. Oh yeah, about two minutes of my precious time.
If you’ll notice, I grabbed a really old letterhead that still had the Pontiac logo on it. See, when your heart in is the right place, little mistakes don’t matter that much.
Who’s your Danny?