No one is perfect and service failures are likely to occur. When they do, the better the staff is trained and prepared to handle the service recovery, the better.

Here’s a story which exemplifies good, efficient recovery from a service failure. I had ordered two items from Staples’ online store. (Staples is an office supplies and related products store). When my order arrived, one item, a day planner, was missing and in its place was a pack of AAA Duracell batteries. I connected with Staples via their Online Chat service. The rep apologized and said I would receive my day planner by next business day. Lo and behold, the next morning at 8AM the item arrived.

What I’d like to point out is that Staples was able to quickly and efficiently recover from the mistake because Staples gives the frontline reps the tools and the authority to do so. I must say I was also very impressed with the logistics. The correct item arrived less than a day after contacting them via the chat line.

Even though Staples made a mistake, will I purchase from them again? You bet! This demonstrates that even if you make a mistake, if you recover effectively, the chances of losing a customer are slim.

Make a mistake? That’s OK, no one is perfect. Perfect your service discovery and you may very well turn potentially bad situations into good ones.

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