What can I do to make this right?

Errors creep in from time to time with anything you do.  Whether you’re a supermarket, a major brand name, or an on-line murder mystery retail business, you WILL mess up from time to time with your customers.  It’s enevitable and sadly, unavoidable…

So what can you do to retain your customers?  Why not ask them?

This week we’ve had Clark and Hilary Bernhard from Surf-n-sea Wetsuits over for a visit.  (For those that know me, Hilary is my sister, for those that don’t – Clark and Hilary hosted “Sherlock” for a week in sunny Ocean Beach, California last year!)

I was chatting to Clark just this morning about an issue I’d experienced over the weekend.  I’d messed up an order, mainly due to experiencing a severe migraine at the time and being unable to concentrate properly on what I was up to.  I explained what we usually do when we mess up and Clark explained what he usually did – a simple phrase which makes all the difference to customers and might prevent a company giving away “too much” as compensation, as some customers are happy to settle with much less then you think.

The phrase is this… “What can I do to make this right?” 

Sounds simple doesn’t it.

And if you’re already prepared to refund and entire order, apologise and offer an exchange or “go the extra mile” anyway – the phrase won’t make you do more then you were already prepared to – but it will make your customers feel that they are being listened to – something which many companies fail to achieve.  And it may prevent you as a company from over-compesating for any mistake, which can cost your company both in time and money.

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