I had a bad experience at Booster Juice last week. The kind of ‘bad’ experience that someone with lots of experience in the hospitality field would describe as B.A.D.
A messy store, mixed up orders, improper ingredients, and a somewhat apathetic staff. Maybe it was just bad timing or poor scheduling. Maybe the staff just got buried in the weeds of a busy moment. Maybe I’m being generous. To be fair, all of my earlier experiences in that location were great. But this time, for whatever reason, it became a cosmic trifecta of “ughh, blah, & yuck!”.
It takes a long time to build good feelings and a moment to ruin them.
So what does a displeased guy with a cell phone do in 2013? Tweet about it of course!
And honestly, that’s where I thought it would end. We are sadly living in a time of customer service where so many businesses are completely absent from listening or being responsive that we set our expectations for any real form of interaction extremely low.
What happened next was textbook service recovery.
- The first response from Booster Juice came within minutes, via twitter, with a request to continue the conversation through direct messaging. Fair enough – I coach businesses all the time to take service recovery issues out of the public / social media eye and to a more private and personal location.
- They apologized for the bad experience. Yes – this always must happen earlier.
- When they discovered the particular store location, they committed to getting in direct contact. They also provided me with the name and contact information of the Area Manager. Ok – a good show of sharing information about and with people who can effect change is an excellent sign of commitment.
- Because I wasn’t in a position to respond promptly to them, they took a moment to review my twitter bio and follow the link to my personal webpage. Using the ‘contact me’ form, they wrote me an email documenting some of their follow up steps. Nice – taking a moment to find me.
- They offered a token of compensation to invite me back for a more positive experience. Perfect.
Ok. Put a check mark beside all of the proper steps. Game over, right?
Nope. This is where they went WAY off the textbook of standard interaction and, for me, demonstrated a moment of service beauty.
Because whoever was handling Booster Juice’s twitter account took a minute to read a bit about me on my webpage before engaging, including this little post where I profess my love for Joss Whedon’s show Firefly. I know they read it for two reasons: a) I checked my webpage statistics, and b) when I finally had the chance to tell them I was impressed with their respond to me, they posted this.
Yes. They quoted Firefly; they quoted it in a way that a fan-boy (like myself) would understand and appreciate. Booster Juice got their geek on! Shiny. They learned about me, connected with me in a small way that wasn’t scripted and showed that another human being was on the other end of the faceless keyboard.
Reasonable customers understand that mistakes happen and simply expect someone to care about them. Businesses should embrace the opportunity that occasional service failures provide – the opportunity to turn an emotionally negative moment into an emotionally positive connection. The opportunity to show they care.
Booster Juice got an ‘A’ in my book for effort. For that, they get another chance to have me back as a customer. More importantly, I am now much less interested in telling people about my negative experience, instead completely invested in the positive new relationship I have with their brand. They made things right in the ‘verse.
Do you have an epic service recovery story? Leave it in the comments below and we can talk about it!