We’re all had it happen – companies we deal with mess up and let us down. And chances are at some point you’ve dropped the ball with your clients, where an unintended mistake caused frustration and inconvenience. But a recent conversation highlighted a four-step plan to turn service problems into client satisfaction success stories.

That conversation was with an east coast business owner – let’s call him Paul – who explained how two separate problems on a five hour flight had inconvenienced him, but ultimately left him more likely to do business with the airline as a result. The reason had nothing to do with the problems themselves, but rather the response from the flight attendant involved. This episode contains important lessons for you and your team on what to do – and what not to do – when clients run into service issues.

Something simple gone wrong

The flight was with WestJet, not Paul’s usual choice, but one that he selected because the timing was convenient and the fare significantly less than his normal airline.  The issue began with a full flight, something every traveler has experienced lately. Shortly after takeoff, Paul used his credit card to purchase a movie on the screen at his seat – only to find that the sound didn’t work. The flight attendant – let’s call her Jessica – tried to reset it without success, then apologized but explained there were no empty seats on the plane where he could be reseated. To make things worse, the middle seat in which Paul was sitting made it a challenge to approach other passengers about switching seats with him.

Jessica seemed genuinely sincere in her apology, to which Paul said he didn’t care that much about the movie, as long as he was reimbursed for the cost. Jessica suggested that the $6 cost for the movie would be credited against his meal purchases, a resolution which satisfied Paul.

See full article on How Service Screw-ups Can Create Happier Clients by Dan Richards, Advisor Perspectives