business coaching on customer service

When was the last time good customer service made you say, “Wow”?

For most of us, it can be be difficult to remember a recent example of excellent customer service. Well, for me it was only the other day, when P&O Ferries exceeded my expectations as a customer by miles.

Having been on a wonderful holiday to France, we arrived at the port in Calais to wave goodbye to our holiday and travel home. Our boat was delayed by an hour or so, which, while nothing too disastrous, was a nuisance all the same. Then the boat we eventually travelled on was without a shop, which robbed us of an opportunity to buy duty-free.

A few days after arriving home, I received an email from P&O offering me a complete refund for the crossing, plus 20% off my next Dover-to-Calais route crossing.


Not only had P&O offered me a refund for my inconvenience, they had turned it into an opportunity for more business. In doing this, they had been quick to prevent any possibility of a diminished reputation or loss of future business. It was a perfect example of service recovery, turning my disappointment into an opportunity to show their excellent customer-service skills.

And as a result, I’m writing this blog, which presents the company in a positive light. I’ve told upwards of ten people this story already, giving P&O the benefit of one of the world’s oldest forms of advertising—word of mouth.

Customers expect good customer service, and providing that should come as standard in your business. However, when they get bad service, it’s likely they’ll tell people about it. The trick is turning that potential bad-mouthing into a “wow” that people will be keen to share.

In your business, how do you deal with customers when things go wrong? Are you quick to put things right, and is there anything you could learn from P&O’s example?

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