Do the Right Thing

posted: Friday, December 6, 2019

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No one is perfect, not even salespeople. No matter how hard we try, mistakes are going to be made. But it’s not about the mistake, it’s about what the salesperson does next that will ultimately determine if the customer becomes a repeat customer, or one that remains displeased.

A couple of weeks ago, we ordered a pizza from the place we’ve been ordering for years and have never had an issue with either the delivery or the pizza itself. This particular time, however, the actual pizza was fine but it took over two hours for the delivery.

We called after about an hour and spoke to the manager who was very professional and apologetic. He explained that he was having staffing issues and was down to only one driver. He went onto say that the staffing issues were not an excuse, but just an explanation of why it was taking so long.

He said that the pizza would be half price that day and that he hoped we would give them another chance in the future to get it right. The manager did two things here that stuck out: he admitted the mistake and then attempted to make it right.

We were satisfied with his attempt and were all set to order from them again. Then today we received a card in the mail that is good for a free pizza. It said please accept our gift of a free pizza for the inconvenience we cause you earlier this month.

The cherry on top was that it was personally signed by the manager that we talked to on that day. It is one thing to send a computer generated card and while that probably would have been enough in this case, the personalized signature guaranteed that we would remain customers.

Now should every salesperson or customer service representative go this far whenever there’s a mistake? Maybe not, but it’s a great lesson in taking what could have been a situation that resulted in lost business and turning it into one that will actually enhance their relationship with their repeat customers.

It is up to you and the company you work for to determine how to make things right when mistakes are made but remember these two things. When a mistake happens, admit it and do the right thing. If you do those two things, then customers will come back.

FINAO - Brad Huisken

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