Turn “Gotcha” Moments into “We’ve Got Your Back” Moments

In my Daily Dose video series, I explore the topics that chief customer officers must grapple with on a daily basis. Join me as I discuss what I’ve learned over the course of my 35-year career, so that you can more effectively do the work that needs to be done.

Today’s video is an excerpt from my online course, inspired by my book, Would You Do That To Your Mother? Click here to learn more about the course and enroll. 

The following is a lightly edited transcript of the video below.


I’ve previously shared examples of companies that inspire a customer service mentality among their staff, and I’ve discussed how personal responsibility impacts customer experience. In today’s Daily Dose of Reality video, I want to share a story that reflects the kinds of incidents that happen all the time in our businesses, and how we should empower our teams to handle them with care:

Suzanne and Bob saw a special in the paper for a reduced price luncheon at their local restaurant. The luncheon was sponsored by one of those coupon services which they had never used before, but thought that they would give it a try.

Low on disposable income, since they were both retired, they looked forward to getting out for a bite, even perhaps making this something that they might do every week. Excited when they arrived at the restaurant at noon, they gave their name and were seated. When their waiter arrived, they told him that they were there for the coupon special lunch deal.

“Can you excuse me a minute?” the server asked. He returned and broke the bad news to them that their lunch deal was only valid for Tuesdays and Wednesdays after 2 PM. But since this was a Monday at noon, unfortunately the restaurant could not honor the coupon.

Suzanne and Bob decided to stay there since they had already been seated, but the bad taste in their mouth lingered throughout the meal. “Why didn’t they make that detail clear? Why couldn’t they just have honored it for us?” Suzanne asked Bob. He didn’t know. What he did know was that they wouldn’t be going back there or seeking out any more of those good deal coupons again.

How Can We Transform These “Gotcha” Moments?

The goal—our opportunity—is to create “we’ve got your back” moments. What feels like “gotcha” moments are often surprise facts that haven’t clearly been disclosed to us as customers. As my mother used to call these, they are “the ifs, the ands, and the buts” of the situation. If this, then that, and therefore what you want won’t happen. Or, if you do this but not that, then what you want won’t happen. You get the picture. It’s just a lot of conditions for getting what you think you were supposed to get.

The Make Mom Proud companies choose to turn these “gotcha” moments into “we’ve got your back” moments.

Fortunately, Bob and Suzanne’s story does eventually have a happy ending. After they had expressed their disappointment in what felt like a big loophole that prevented them from getting that great lunch deal, their waiter plead their case to the manager on duty for them. So, at the end of their meal, the waiter told the couple that lunch was on the house; they had made it too difficult to know how to redeem that coupon deal.

This restaurant also decided—in a good touch, in a great decision—that in the future, if other folks came in who had interpreted the deal on those coupons, they would also be honored. It made no sense to lose customers over a few dollars on a meal.

They realized the good turn that would earn them when they had customers’ backs in the moments. And they knew that this good turn would pay dividends in customers coming back because they were taken care of.

Take Care of Your Customers

Do you have any if, and, or but conditions that would frustrate your customers? How about your mom? Anything in the products you deliver, anything in the services you provide, or anything in the fees you charge or the specials customers receive? If you do have some of these moments, then you are at risk for delivering “gotcha” moments to your customers.

Would you really do that to your mother?

Ask yourself: Do you have any if, and, or but conditions that would frustrate your customers? If you do, then you are at risk for delivering 'gotcha' moments to your customers. #MakeMomProud Click To Tweet

HOW WOULD YOUR COMPANY ACT IF EVERY CUSTOMER WERE YOUR MOM?

How do we cut through the rigmarole of business to give customers the treatment they desire, and employees the ability to deliver it?

In her latest book, customer experience expert Jeanne Bliss recommends making business personal to get the traction you need by focusing on one deceptively simple question: “Would you do that to your mother?”

Learn more

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