Service - it's how you 'save' the screw up that really counts

We all make mistakes, drop the ball, screw things up. How we respond to rectify the situation is what sticks in the customers mind.

A few weeks ago I was trying to renew my Headspace subscription. The link to the special offer didn’t work properly. The service chat connected me with Joe who walked me through some techy stuff to do with clearing my cache. Still no luck. Some other bits of fiddling around. No luck. A different route to renew using a code got further but the payment part was falling over…

Just at the point where I’m getting frustrated and ready to walk away an email from Joe. ‘Sorry this still isnt’ working, we are having some issues that we are trying to fix. We appreciate the hassle you are having and I have just added a year’s subscription for you. Enjoy’.

Now that is a ‘save’ – fantastic customer service. My lasting memory will be what Joe did, not the original problems I had.

The bigger question is what does it take to create such a service culture in an organisation?

Culture is catching

I was taking an intensive German class last month and half the class consistently turned up late while the other half were on time. We were struggling to establish an ‘on-time’ norm despite the best efforts of many.

One Friday I was out at my coffee break and doing a few things when I realised I was going to have to finish up quickly and get back. In a flash my mind said to me: ‘don’t rush, its ok to be late. Why bust a gut when you know others aren’t?’. So I came back a few minutes late. And I wasn’t the last one back either. I can’t say I was proud of myself but that is the point.

Culture is catching, whether it is good or bad. Going against the grain is hard work and over time it becomes all to easy to give in. Culture needs constant attention from leaders to create and maintain the environment that they want.