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Recently I had the pleasure of having lunch with Julia Carcamo (VP of Brand Marketing) and Jim White (VP of Guest Satisfaction) of Isle of Capri Casinos.  We had a great discussion about customer service.  They shared a true story about a problem and how they made a customer service recovery at one of their casinos. There’s a lesson to be learned about how the team managed the guest experience. The Lady Luck Casino, operated by Isle of Capri Casinos, is located in Caruthersville, MO.  They hired Vicki Lawrence to present her concert, and it was a sold-out event.  The Lady Luck had just switched over to a new valet parking system, and this particular evening was going to test the new system.  Unfortunately, it didn’t pass the test.  About 20 guests were told their car was lost.   The valet personnel could not locate the car. If this happened to you, what would you do? (Before you read any further, take a moment to think about your answer.) The Lady Luck team did several things to take care of the guests.  They had to get creative.  This would take more than saying, “I’m sorry.”  What they did was apologize profusely, drove the guest home and promised the guests that their cars would be in their driveways by the time they got up to go to church the next morning.  (And, they did!)

Basics of Customer Service Recovery

1. Apologize. 2. Take action with an acceptable temporary solution. 3. Make a promise to the customer to resolve the problem. 4. And, finally, keep the promise. The valet team needed time to find the cars.  They didn’t want the guest to wait.  They deployed the personnel to drive the guests home, which was a temporary solution.  That temporary solution allowed them time to find the cars, without the pressure of the guests staring at them, wondering how much longer they would have to wait.  (That part is important.)   And, once they found the cars, they returned them to the owner’s home, as promised. When I shared that story with a couple of colleagues, they were impressed.  They felt the Lady Luck team went above and beyond to resolve a guest problem.  However, they simply did what they felt was necessary to make sure the guest was taken care of and their problem resolved.  Someone made the decision that it was okay to drive the guests home.  That is the “above and beyond” part of the story. How far “above and beyond” would you go to resolve a customer service problem?  How much time, manpower and dollars would you expend to solve a customer service debacle? Remember, the goal is more than just resolving a customer service problem.  Anyone can do that.  It is also about customer service recovery, which must include restoring confidence.   Shep Hyken is a customer service/CX expert, award-winning keynote speaker, and New York Times bestselling author. Learn more about Shep’s customer service and customer experience keynote speeches and his customer service training workshops at Connect with Shep on LinkedIn.

(Copyright ©MMXII, Shep Hyken)

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