Total Recovery = Customer Delight = Customer Service Quality

Douglas, an elected delegate at the Democratic National Convention in the United States, dropped his Handspring Visor personal digital assistant (PDA) onto the stone floor of his downtown hotel lobby.

The outer case of the PDA was chipped in one corner, but the software and the system still worked. He called Handspring to purchase a replacement cover.

“Nothing doing,” Handspring customer service replied. They insisted that he needed a completely new Visor.

“No way,” Douglas retorted. “Why should I buy a new Visor, costing hundreds of dollars, just to replace a plastic part worth a dollar or two at most?”

“Oh no,” the representative assured him. “The new Visor won’t cost you a penny. Your current Visor is still under warranty.”

Attesting to the company’s dedication to customer service quality, the representative promised to ship a brand new Visor to him immediately, and then explained that Douglas could ship the old unit back in the very same box. She apologized that the deadline had passed for next day delivery, so the new PDA would arrive in two days instead. Talk about exceptional customer service quality!

Two days later, as promised, a small package arrived for Douglas at the hotel. Inside was a brand new Visor – with complete instructions on how to transfer data from the old Visor into the new one, as well as a pre-addressed courier delivery slip speaking to the company’s customer service quality.

All Douglas had to do was transfer his data, put the old Visor with the chipped cover into the box, apply the pre-printed label and then call the toll-free number to arrange an immediate courier pick-up. Handspring thought of everything to ensure customer service quality.

Douglas is clear and expressive about his feelings: “This was truly delightful service. I define delightful as something completely beyond the expected, something that brings joy to the customer. And I certainly received it in this case. I give a big hand of applause to Handspring!”

Key Learning Point For Customer Service Quality

When things go wrong, you have a precious opportunity to completely “Wow” your customer. Do everything you can to solve the problem in a fast, generous and very convenient manner to demonstrate your customer service quality.

Handspring understands the value of a truly delighted customer. Do you?

Action Steps For Customer Service Quality

What is a truly delighted customer worth to your business in repeat sales, active referrals and positive word-of-mouth? Do your policies reflect this understanding? Do you actively make the investment required? Does everyone in your company agree? Boost your customer service quality by going above and beyond.


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Copyright, Ron Kaufman. Used with permission. Ron Kaufman is the world’s leading educator and motivator for upgrading customer service and uplifting service culture. He is author of the bestselling “Uplifting Service” book and founder of Uplifting Service. To enjoy more customer service training and service culture articles, visit

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