Being in charge at Happy means I get to deal with anybody who we have upset and who my colleagues haven’t managed to make happy. This doesn’t happen often and its never good to speak to a customer who we have let down but I do actually enjoy the task. Based on being open, admitting anything we got wrong and finding out what they need, there is nearly always a way to meet people’s needs.
Last week I called a client for whom the training had been great but we had messed up on collecting payment, causing her hassle and worry. She asked, given what had happened, why I expected her to pay anything for the course. I understood her view and we do have a policy of doing what is needed to make our customers happy. So I decided to leave it to her:
“We guarantee a full money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied”, I wrote. “So its up to you. Please pay whatever you think is appropriate, from nothing upwards.”
A few days later a cheque arrived, with a note saying she had decided to pay 76% of the fee. I have no idea how she arrived at that %, but it seemed more than fair. Once again I was reminded that people are reasonable and rarely take advantage if you are fair and open with them.
Do try it: If you have an unhappy customer, leave it to them – ask them what they want to pay.