Customer experience: The Case of the Missing Adapter

girl-204327_960_720The consultant finished her presentation at the swanky hotel conference center and packed up her equipment—everything except the adapter cord that went from her computer to the LED projector, a moderately expensive gizmo.

Several months later, when she realized what she had done, she called the hotel to ask if they had found the adapter. She figured it was a long shot, it had been such a long time ago.  The lost-and-found folks said they had not see it, but promised to call her if it should turn up.

Sometime later, she was delighted to receive a call from the hotel’s customer service department alerting her that they had found the adapter and would be sending it back to her.

Her delight turned to chagrin when she received the remains of an envelope in the mail, along with an apology from the U.S. Postal Service stating that they had received the envelope at their central sorting location, open and with no contents. The adapter had apparently been placed in a plain envelope with no padding or protection and it had not survived the postal journey.

The consultant was hesitant to contact the hotel again. After all, it was her fault that she had lost the adapter in the first place, and the hotel had tried to make it right…sort of. She decided to write a note to the hotel, politely thanking them for their attention to the matter, but suggesting they might want to take a bit more care in the future.

Two days later, she received an email from the hotel’s general manager, apologizing that her staff had dropped the ball on the return of the adapter and offering to pay for a replacement. She also promised to speak with her lost and found department to make sure that kind of problem didn’t happen again.

Needless to say, the consultant now has a very positive attitude about the hotel. The hotel was willing to admit to a mistake, correct it, and take steps to make sure it didn’t happen again. From a customer service perspective, what could have been a negative experience for the consultant became a very positive one, ensuring that when she tells the story, the hotel will be portrayed in a positive light.

Isn’t that the kind of customer you want to have telling your story?

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