When things go wrong in your business it’s best to come clean with your customers.
It’s pointless trying to lie, or fabricate an excuse because more often than not, the truth will reveal itself, with dire consequences.
Honesty is the best policy.
If you make an excuse, and it’s a feeble excuse, you will find yourself more often than not in a hole trying to dig yourself out, instead of taking a bullet [for the causes] and then soldiering on.
Your customers will respect you for your honesty.
Your customers will not respect you for any deceit.
Last week I had to fly from Sydney to Dallas with Qantas and then on to Atlanta with American Airlines.
However…..when I arrived at my lounge in Sydney I could see that my Qantas plane was not yet at its gate, and it should have been…
Fast forward and my flight is over ninety minutes late departing. And I have a very tight connection in Dallas for my next flight.
When I finally get seated on my Qantas plane the Captain announces to us that routine maintenance had taken longer than expected and that we will catch up the time in the air…. I’m doubtful but I’ll put my faith in the Lord….
The Captain also tells us that there is nothing wrong with the plane. My thought is then that if it is indeed a routine maintenance event for this aircraft, then why the heck has it taken so much longer? And why the heck have paying customers been inconvenienced because of this “routine maintenance”?
What’s my point?
The thing is, when I was sold my ticket, I questioned the tight connection.
My travel agent, who was not working with Qantas, assured me all would be OK.
When it was announced at the airport that my flight was delayed I went straight to the counter in my lounge and asked to be rebooked in the USA on a later connecting flight, but was assured that Qantas and QF7 would be able to make up the time during the flight and all would be OK.
Even then, while on board my Qantas flight, I was assured by my Chief Steward that ground staff at Dallas would ensure that I would make my next American Airlines flight, despite the “tightness” of the connection.
I waited to see this….
Here were my hesitations.
Although it was with another airline, a friend of mine was recently turned away at a gate, while his plane was still boarding, because his connecting flight [from the same airline] had arrived slightly late, and the airline had cancelled his ongoing ticket and onsold it.
Despite the fact that he was still able to arrive at the said gate, and the plane that he was originally booked upon was still boarding.
Despite all this, my friend was rebooked, by that airline, onto a later flight.
And yet his luggage was connected on the earlier designated flight.
How could that all be?
My second hesitation was because only three weeks prior to this trip, I had raced through San Francisco airport trying to connect up with a Qantas flight after my American Airlines flight was delayed because of weather. And despite the fact that there were fourteen passengers on my American flight trying to connect with that QANTAS flight, and despite the fact that while running thru the airport I could see the Qantas plane, the darned thing left without us all and we all fourteen had to spend a night in San Francisco because of this….
And on the next night, while on the Qantas flight before departure, it was announced that we were waiting on five connecting passengers. None of those passengers made that flight…..
Can you imagine my skepticism?
So what exactly ended up happening?
Well, before my Qantas flight landed in Dallas, the head steward had been to see me to let me know that I would certainly miss my connection.
But, he had good news.
Qantas had secured me a seat on a later flight from Dallas to Atlanta, and I would not be needing to rush my way through arrival and then back through security.
And then it got even better….
As I was de-planing my Qantas flight, my head steward handed me my boarding pass for my new ongoing flight into Atlanta.
Now to me that was something special.
And it was re-emphasised to me as I walked through the Dallas airport towards immigration and Customs and saw probably thirty or more boarding passes lined up on a window ledge for those of my fellow travelers who were in a similar situation to me.
It was then that I really felt valued, as a loyal customer of Qantas.
This was a great service recovery story.
Your business’s Service Recovery Process is the ability of your team to make things right following a service defect in such a way that the process of recovery is indeed a more wonderful experience than if your business had gotten things right in the first place.
And this is what Qantas did this time.
How are your Service Recovery Processes in your Dental Office?
Are your Service Recovery Processes amazing your dental patients and customers?
You know they should be.
Are you working to ensure all your Service Recovery Processes are indeed World Class?
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