This Is How to Handle Mistakes

This Is How to Handle Mistakes

October 9, 2015 | 1 min to read

Service failures—those moments where you fall short of a customer's needs—can cost you not just a player, but a decent chunk of that player's friends, too: The average dissatisfied customer shares a bad experience with between 10 and 20 people.

The bad news is, you'll never eliminate 100% of your slipups. The good news is, if handled correctly, they don't have to be fatal.

In fact, in rare cases, a flawless recovery can leave customers more satisfied—even more than they would have been had the mistake never happened in the first place.

What Went Wrong

It's called the "recovery paradox," and it's the exception, not the rule. But WPN Advanced Plus location Heroes and Villains gave us all an example when they gracefully managed a slipup in September.

When a dissatisfied customer took to the internet to vent, H&V acted immediately.

The expert damage control that followed is exactly what retailers should do if when they find themselves in a similar situation.

How They Fixed It

Studies show that, more than anything else, customers simply want the situation handled fairly.

It's called "perceived justice," and it has three components:

  • Distributed justice: refunds, apology gifts
  • Procedural justice: speed, efficiency
  • Interactional justice: civility, empathy

Heroes and Villains nailed it on all three.

  • Distributed justice: They immediately offered a public apology and a refund, then handled the details in private.
  • Procedural justice: They looked into what had happened to ensure there were no further issues.
  • Interactional justice: Lastly, they maintained a tenor of composure, transparency, and sincerity throughout.They didn't make excuses, they didn't point fingers. They owned up and made it right.

What Happened Next

H&V's recovery efforts earned them a ton of respect and praise online. The customer offered an apology, which was upvoted—the reddit equivalent of Facebook's "Like" button—1100 times. Wins all around.

If something like this happens to you, stay as close to this example as you can!

By Matt Neubert

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