Turn a Service Recovery Moment Into a WOW Experience

Turn a service recovery moment into a WOW experience by Angela Fieler

There is a real art to service recovery. When done well, you can turn a problem into an opportunity to shine.

I was recently stranded in an airport and was lucky enough to find a room for the night. When I called the hotel, they had two rooms available. By the time I got to the hotel, there was only one. As I was checking in, the clerk who was not helping me suddenly said, “Uh, oh.” The source of her dismay? Someone had booked the room I was getting checked into online. That meant one of us was going to be stuck without a room. Since I already knew I wasn’t the only one stranded and that rooms were few and far between, I was hoping it wasn’t me.

The Service Recovery Process

She reassured me that I was safe and had a room. That was awesome, but that’s not what really impressed me. Amanda called the person who had made the other reservation. She apologized for the error without offering an excuse and offered the unfortunate traveler two things that impressed me.

First, she asked for permission to put the traveler on hold so that she could contact Expedia. She contacted Expedia, explained that the room was not available, and asked what other rooms in the area were available.

Then, she got back on the phone with the traveler, asked which option they preferred, and called the hotel personally to ensure that a room was actually available. Finally, she got back on the phone with Expedia and asked them to simply switch the reservation so that the traveler did not have to wait for a refund. After all of that was done, she called the traveler back to let them know that their reservation had been switched, gave them the hotel number and Expedia number, and thanked them for allowing her to assist them. 

Can you imagine? All this for someone who was not going to stay at her hotel! WOW! Simply owning the entire situation set this service recovery on the right path. 

Do you want to WOW your customers, even when things don’t go as planned? The Baird Group’s “A+ Service Recovery System” will help you do just that. We provide real tools to help the frontline gain confidence and skills. Our leader module has additional tools that help leaders coach for service recovery behaviors facilitating further growth through feedback. Contact us for more information at info@baird-group.com.

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