For the last 17 years, I have been encouraging companies to empower their team members to make it right even if it costs something. Let’s face it, it’s inevitable, we WILL drop the ball from time to time and disappoint our customer. How we recover from that says a lot about our company.
At The DiJulius Group, we encourage companies to give their team members, not just the managers, a budget to work with and/or the authority to makes things right when things go wrong. This small budget could be used to discount product or services, buy the customer a coffee shop gift card, send them flowers etc. This demonstrates that you trust your team member to make a wise decision and empowers them to make sure the customer leaves happy. Money isn’t always the motivator for team satisfaction. Feeling valued and trusted are big motivators.
“Customers will tell more people about how you made it right
than if you delivered a good experience to begin with.”
You can’t afford to not make it right
What happens when it’s the customer’s fault? We are all human, we as customers mess up too. This is a great opportunity for our team members to demonstrate grace. Grace is defined as undeserved forgiveness or favor
The concept of grace is one of my favorite life lessons. The more grace we give, the more we strengthen and build lasting relationships. Isn’t that what really matters in life? I have to tell you an experience I had that was a beautiful demonstration of grace. I have been working to get healthy and take care of myself. I’m no spring chicken and reality had set in that I had to do this for my heart and lungs, not for my vanity. I joined Orangetheory, a gym in my town. Orangetheory is an organized class that is heart rate monitored, high intensity designed to keep heart rates in a target zone that spikes metabolism. The “afterburn” is what we are after. I finally found a workout that I actually want to come back to. It still takes discipline to get there and with my travel schedule with work, it’s easy to use that as an excuse.
A few months ago on a Saturday I got on my app, joined the 1:30 class, got dressed, grabbed my heart monitor and proudly walked out the door. It had been over a week as I had been traveling and had not been home. I was anxious to get back on track and feel better. Excited that I had finally made it on a Saturday, I walked in happy to be there. As I walked in, I saw two familiar, friendly faces, Jason and Kristall. I’m not as regular with attendance as some members but they still knew my name. That in itself is powerful to loyalty building. Jason and Kristall were on the floor making signs for an event coming up and I noticed no one else was there. I said, “Wow, this is going to be a small class.” Jason smiled and said, “Actually we are closed for the day. I think the class you signed up for is tomorrow.” He was right. I signed up for the wrong day. MY FAULT! I went to walk out and Jason said, “Don’t leave, I’ll do a class with you. Kristall will finish the signs and we will gladly stay open until you are done.” I am a customer experience consultant and that blew me away. It takes a lot to blow me away in the area of customer experience. Jason and Kristall were willing to take an hour of their time that they could have been finishing to go home to take me through a class and stay open.
IT WAS MY FAULT, BUT THEY MADE IT THEIR PROBLEM
I didn’t want to take up their time so I declined. Sensing that I was not wanting to take up their time, they offered to let me use the gym while they worked. That’s exactly what I did. They turned up music I liked, put on the fans, turned on the screen with the workout and let me use the gym. I felt great. I felt like family rather than just a member of Orangetheory and was so grateful at the grace I had received.
There are two new concept gyms going in within 5 minutes of Orangetheory in my town. After that experience, I will not consider joining elsewhere. Thank you Wendy, the fearless leader at Orangetheory for empowering your team to not only make it right, but also make it right when it was MY fault. You will have my loyalty and I will tell everyone I can about this experience. Here’s to the afterburn!