Shep Hyken\'s Customer Service Blog

Posts tagged "moment of magic"

It's Not Our Fault, But We Can Still Be ResponsibleSolving Customer Problems

What happens when the customer calls about a problem, but the problem is completely out of your control?

Let’s use an online retailer as an example. The customer buys a product and requests it be shipped via one of the typical shipping companies like UPS, FedEx or USPS. The product goes out right away, but the shipping company fails to deliver on time. The customer calls the company and is obviously upset. Why was there a delay? Continue reading

Special OpportunitiesAmazing Customer Experience

Sometimes, we experience truly amazing levels of customer service. We call it over-the-top, or above and beyond, or WOW! customer service. Many of my clients tell me they want to consistently create that experience for their customers. My response is that it’s an unrealistic – even impossible – expectation. Over-the-top service usually happens with isolated incidents, either problems or complaints, or recognition of an opportunity to create such levels of service. Continue reading

That may have been true in the 1970 movie “Love Story,” but it is definitely not true in the world of customer service – even if your customers love you.

Just recently I’ve had several clients call to discuss problems they were having with service recovery.  While their issues were somewhat complicated, the strategies we discussed were simple and direct.  Here are the seven strategies that can help turn a touchy situation with a customer into a confidence building Moment of Magic®.

When a customer comes to you with a problem (assume it is on the phone, but this applies to any situation), take the following steps:

1.  Apologize for the problem.  (See – you do have to say your sorry!) It may not be your fault, but at this time, you represent your company.  It is now your opportunity to show how good you are.
2. Acknowledge the problem.  Ask the customer to repeat the problem, allowing them to vent.  Actively listen.  Ask open ended questions to get more information.
3. Apologize again!  If at this time you realize the customer needs to be talking to someone else, do not simply transfer him/her.  The proper hand-off is to bring this other person into the conversation so you can explain the problem.  Let the customer become part of a three-way conversation.  If you do hand off the problem, jump to Strategy Seven.
4. At this point it is time to move into fixing the problem.  Explain how that is going to happen, and go to work to fix it.
5. Make sure you do all of this with the right attitude.
6. Create a sense of urgency.  Fix the problem as quickly as possible.
7. Stay in touch and/or circle back.  Stay in touch with the customer to let him/her know the progress that is being made.  When the problem has been resolved, follow up (even if you handed this off to someone else) to ensure the customer is happy and to give closure to the problem.

The strategies are simple, but the execution may not be.  Some problems may take a long time to resolve, while others can be fixed immediately.  Regardless of what the problem is, the above strategies are the basics.  The end has to result in more than just a fixed problem.  You want the customer to say this:

“I love doing business with them.  Even when there is a problem, I can count on them.”

Always remember that service recovery isn’t just about fixing a problem.  It is also about the renewal of customer confidence.

Shep Hyken is the Chief Amazement Officer (CAO) of Shepard Presentations, LLC.  As a speaker and author, Shep helps companies build loyal relationships with their customers and employees by helping them deliver amazing levels of customer service.  He is the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of “The Cult of the Customer” and “The Amazement Revolution” and the creator of The Customer Focus customer service training program.  For more contact Shep Hyken; (314) 692-2200 or  Web:

Copyright © 2011, Shep Hyken


The other night we went to dinner with some friends.  The server suggested we split some appetizer, one of which was a shrimp dish with three large barbequed shrimp.  My friend said, “There are four of us.  If we paid extra, do you think they could put another shrimp on the plate?” Continue reading

The January 25, 2008 USA Today news paper had a great article on customer service titled “Service with a Style.”  The Ritz-Carlton in Chicago was the example.  A cab pulled up to the hotel and the doorman opens the passenger’s door and calls the unannounced guest by his name.  He had never ever seen the man before.  How did he do it?  “I peeked at the luggage tag,” the doorman said with a grin.

This is a great example of taking the mundane and turning it into a Moment of Magic™.  In some of my seminars, we go through an exercise that helps our clients create magic from the mundane.  Here is an abbreviated version of this exercise.

First, create a list of the encounters your customers have in a typical, for lack of a better term, transaction.  For example, at the Ritz-Carlton a guest drives up in a cab (as in the above example), the guest enters the hotel and is greeted, checks in at registration, stands in line at the restaurant for breakfast, etc.  Take a look a these ordinary, possibly mundane interactions, and brainstorm how to add something to one or two of these interactions to make them special.

You saw how the doorman made helping a man out of a cab a Moments of Magic™ experience.  Where can you do the same thing in your business? Take a look at something that seems like an ordinary interaction with your customer; the way you answer the phone, greet a customer when he walks through your doors, make a delivery, etc.  It could be just about anything.  Then, brainstorm how you can turn it into something better than ordinary.  It doesn’t have to be amazing, although sometimes it will be.  Regardless, it will be a… Moment of Magic™!