Extraordinary Service We Don’t Deserve – Part 1

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This post originally appeared on the FCR blog on October 9, 2015.  Click here to read the original.

A couple weekends ago, the perfect storm descended upon my household and didn’t let up for several days.  All three of my kids were sick– and not the cute kind where they just want to snuggle and watch movies all day.  It was work with no end in sight.  In desperation, we called on mother-in-law to come rescue us.  Thankfully she obliged and said she could fly up the next day.

I began searching for plane tickets and found a great deal.  After a bit of comparing itineraries I locked one in, bought the ticket, and had the confirmation sent to her.  I thought nothing more of it after that.

The next day she called and said that her arrival time had changed a bit.  When my wife asked why, we learned that the ticket I had purchased was for the day before.  In my searching for the best rate I somehow settled on the wrong date–no wonder the price was so good.  The airline allowed her to purchase a new ticket for $200.  I was horrified and ready to blame anyone but myself.  How in the world could I make such a careless mistake?

Well I was to blame.  I called the airline to plead my case, what little case I had, and the only response was, “Unfortunately, this was your fault.  There’s nothing I can do for you.”  In fact, I think she uttered that phrase multiple times throughout the call.  I even turned to Twitter to vent my frustration, which proved fruitless.  Ugh.  Throwing away money because of a careless mistake never feels good.

Why is it that I expected the airline to correct my mistake and reverse the consequences tied to it?  Is it because this is becoming the new standard of customer service?  That got me thinking about companies that routinely correct problems and delight customers even when the problem wasn’t their fault.  In a recent post praising coffee shops, I talked about the power of correcting a customer’s mistake in fostering a deep sense of loyalty to that brand.

I recently sent an all call out to my colleagues at FCR asking them to share some of their stories where they received a (good) level of service they didn’t deserve.  Their responses did not disappoint.

Since it is customer service week and all, take a moment to give a should out to a company who delivered exceptional service that you didn’t expect or deserve.  Leave us a comment below or share on our Facebook page.  Stay tuned for parts two and three of this post where I share the responses from my colleagues.

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Jeremy Watkin is the Director of Customer Experience at FCR, the premiere provider of outsourced call center and business process solutions. He has more than 17 years of experience as a customer service and experience professional. He is co-founder of the Customer Service Life blog and a regular contributor. Jeremy has been recognized many times for his thought leadership. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn for more awesome customer service and experience insights.

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