#1 Posted: 2 Apr 2012 13:02
I recently had the opportunity to have lunch with executives from Isle of Capri Casinos, Julia Carcamo (VP of Brand Marketing) and Jim White (VP of Guest Satisfaction). As we discussed customer service, they told me about an incident that occurred at one of their casinos. Their problem, and how the team handled it, presents a great lesson in managing the guest experience.
Isle of Capri Casinos operates the Lady Luck Casino in Caruthersville, Mo. It had just switched to a new valet parking system, and was testing the system out on a busy night, during a sold-out concert by Vicki Lawrence. Unfortunately, the new system didn't pass the test. The valet personnel could not locate about 20 guests' cars, and the guests had to be told they had been lost.
How would you handle this situation if you were in charge? Think about it for a minute before you read on.
The Lady Luck team did some quick thinking and came up with a creative solution to the problem. Apologizing profusely, they drove the guests home and promised that their cars would be back in their driveways by the time they got up to go to church the next morning. (And they were!)
Sometimes customer service is about recovery when things go wrong. Take a lesson from the Lady Luck and follow a few basic steps:
1. Apologize. A lot.
2. Take action with a temporary solution.
3. Promise the customer a more permanent solution.
4. Keep the promise!
The valet team's solution made sense for a lot of reasons. They knew they would find the cars, but didn't want the guests to be waiting — and watching — while they searched. Their temporary solution was to drive the guests home, which removed the pressure of knowing the guests were waiting, wondering how long it would take. Once they found the cars, they returned them to the owners' homes, fulfilling their promised solution.
I shared the Lady Luck team's solution to its customer service problem with a couple of colleagues. They were impressed, feeling that the Lady Luck exceeded expectations in resolving the issue. The casino personnel, however, simply view it as doing what was necessary to keep the customer happy and fix the problem. The "above and beyond" part of the story was the decision to drive the guests home.
Are you willing to go "above and beyond" to make things right when you face a customer service snafu? How far? Think about it in terms of time, manpower and dollars.
The ultimate goal is more important than just solving a temporary problem. It is restoring and keeping customer confidence.