I can remember a high school guidance counselor telling me to “turn obstacles into opportunities.” Being a too-cool teenager, I thought the phrase was dumb. In hindsight, there’s a lot of wisdom packed into those four words – especially when it comes to customer relationships.
Case in point – a friend of mine is a professional and has a toddler. She doesn’t get a lot of time allocated for self-care outings. When she decided to book a spa appointment, it was a big deal. Unfortunately, the experience was lackluster. The aesthetician didn’t ask my friend what she wanted from the appointment. Worse, the 60-75 minute session lasted just 30 minutes (with no adjustment in price). My friend didn’t feel pampered at all! She felt annoyed and gypped off.
Rather than take to social media, she contacted the spa directly and shared her story.
Fortunately, the spa owner responded to the email with both sympathy for the situation and an offer to provide a complimentary, upgraded spa service at my friend’s convenience.
It’s still not an ideal situation. After all, time is my friend’s most valued (and limited) commodity. But in a world where mistakes happen, this business did the right thing.
My friend went back for her do-over and had, in her words, “the BEST facial with the nicest man ever. I will definitely go back!”
Mistakes happen in business. How you manage your customer relationships in the aftermath makes the difference between someone who walks out the door, bringing negative word-of-mouth with them and being able to retain – and extend – a customer relationship.
Obstacle, meet opportunity.