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HPMD Quotes & Sources

Ron Zemke, in The Service Edge, tells the following story:
"Our colleague Chip Bell tells of walking into a crowded fast-food restaurant for a sandwich, small fries, and soft drink to take back to his office. When he placed the order, he was told it would take about three minutes for the sandwich. It was noon, lines were long, some delay was acceptable. But as the minutes stretched to nearly ten, he grew increasingly impatient.
Eventually the order was ready and service recipient came eyeball to eyeball with the provider. ... the cashier was already in tune with his feelings. "I'm very sorry," she offered. "I know you were in a hurry. I gave you a large order of fries because you had to wait. I hope you'll come back again." Apology, urgent reinstatement, empathy, symbolic atonement --right out of the recovery textbook. That kind of performance is no accident. The system was designed, the employees trained, for the eventuality of a breakdown. 'The cashier, Chip adds, invariably with an expression of awe, was all of seventeen years old.

[The moral: Handling problems well turns angry customers into loyal fans.]

Zemke, Service, pp. 24-25

Short Quote:

Case Study
© Copyright 1996, 2000, HP Management Decisions Ltd., All Rights Reserved.

Author:Zemke, Ron with Dick Schaaf
Title:The Service Edge
Publisher:NAL Books
Place (City):New York
Publication Date:1989
Pages:pp. 24-25
Source Type:Book
Quote Number:204
Categories:Customer Service, Case Studies