Overcoming The Nasty Pirate To Improve Customer Experience

When service situations go bad, a golden opportunity presents to improve customer experience. If you take the right measures, you can turn lemons into lemonade quite effectively.

A great example of a fantastic service recovery comes from a theme park experience a friend of mine had with his family. My friend took his son Tommy to Disneyland, hoping for a photograph with Captain Hook. But just as it reached Tommy’s turn in line, the photo session ended and Captain Hook stalked off making gruff noises suitable for a pirate.

Little Tommy broke into tears.

Another Disney cast member came along to soothe the boy, gave his parents vouchers for a free dinner in the park and took some additional information to try and improve customer experience.

When they returned to their hotel room that night, a colorful card was waiting on the pillow with a picture of Peter Pan on the front. Inside was a handwritten note:

Dear Tommy, Captain Hook can be quite nasty sometimes. After all, he is a pirate! I hope you enjoy the rest of your stay with all of us at Disneyland.

The card was signed “Peter Pan,” and is cherished today by Tommy (and his parents) more than any old photograph with that nasty Captain Hook!

Key Learning Point To Improve Customer Experience

Put positive emotion and a personal touch in your service recovery efforts. Customers will remember and cherish you forever for your efforts to improve customer experience.

Action Steps To Improve Customer Experience

The next time something goes wrong for your customer, colleague, friend or family member, make a very special effort to set things right. Be a generous and magical Peter Pan, not a stingy pirate! Take the extra time to do something special, different, memorable and rewarding to improve customer experience. You, too, can be someone’s new favorite character in the park.


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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 UpliftingService.com.

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