When I teach customer service, I call the interactive workshop The Art of Wow! A few months ago I bought a pair of SPANX hose. I was hesitant to do so, because they cost three times what regular ones did, but I thought surely at that price they would hold up better than the others. They didn’t. I had a run the first time and was kicking myself for buying them. I threw them in the waste basket. Bill (my husband) saw them and said I should send them back and complain. I didn’t think it was worth it. Unknown to me, he sent them back with a letter. Today a package arrived. He asked me if I’d ordered anything and I said no. When we opened it, I was stunned to find 3 new pairs of SPANX. My $18 disappointment turned into $114 win-win. I was delighted and they kept a customer and developed a raving fan.
That’s the Art of Wow!
A guest blog by Tom Bernard
I remember having a conversation with a friend over a business transaction. It was a long time ago, and I can’t even remember the topic, except that I had said something that offended him. I was wrong, and I attempted to correct the situation on the spot. I said, “I’m really sorry.” He reacted quickly with a reply I will never forget. “Sorry won’t get it,” he said. His response blew me away. But he was correct. Sometimes being sorry for something we have said or done does not bring instant healing. I needed to give him time to process my apology, and when I did, things smoothed out. I have tried very hard not to put a friend in a position to recite those words to me again.
Looking back over my lifetime, I must admit that my apologies have almost been legion. Legion with a capital “L” is a military term that describes a number of soldiers–often more than 4,000. Legion with a small “l” refers to a “great number” or “multitude” of times something occurs. I have been wrong a “multitude” of times. On many of those occasions I said to myself, “I wish I hadn’t done that.” Or, “I wish I hadn’t said that.”
All of us have said at one time or another, “I wish I hadn’t done that,” or “I wish I had done that.” The fact is that all too often it is too late to correct a misunderstanding or to take back something we have said. My list of “I wish I hadn’t done that” is longer than the “I wish I had done that” list. If I were to add a list of “I wish I hadn’t said that,” depression would be just around the corner. “Feeling sorry” has already left the station, and “Feeling guilty” is ready for ticketed passengers. “All aboard.”
There is good therapy in creating an “I wish” list, as long as we don’t allow ourselves to attend our own pity party. There are a few rules to follow if we are to do it right. Here is my list of rules:
- Keep each item short.
- Be specific and name names.
- Don’t linger too long on any of the “I wish” items. This is not an exercise in sentimentality.