How your customer service CAN win over The Complaining Cow (Yes, it CAN be done!)

How to provide good customer service when you receive a complaint

Customer service at a spa day

Last month I went to Clarice House for a spa day with my mate The Calmer Cat. We love going there, always a good day not least because we get their excellent half price offers!

Double booking a treatment at the spa

When we went back in May, we had one of those spa days where you have all the works, facial, massage, nails and all that. Anyway, at the end of the day I went into my nail treatment and she went into hers. Or so I thought. When I came out she hadn’t had her treatment. They had messed up and someone else had taken her place! She didn’t have to complain too much, the duty manager was very good (and frankly looked far too young to be a manager of such a place, or she is another advert for the place!) and offered 3 nail varnishes, the cost had the treatment been separate.

Not providing full information regarding a massage

We duly booked another day. We went a few weeks ago and were called in for our body massages. I was told that I had a bloke. Now, some women may well ask for him and some women may well think he is very good. However, I just don’t like it. Fussy? Who knows? But, more seriously some women may have gone through any level of abuse or recent bad experience with a male. Not to check if a woman is happy with a male masseur in this day and age is, frankly inappropriate and unacceptable. So call it being fussy or making a point, whatever, I refused. There was no problem and my masseur was changed to a female.

I went into my treatment and when I came out The Calmer Cat came out of her treatment. She had been given James! So they had gone to reception to explain and someone with the same name had taken her treatment. The second time! You’d think they would learn wouldn’t you? D’oh use surnames and completely alleviate what would appear, frequent problem! She was offered a massage at the end of the day (hour long when everything else had finished!) or a voucher. When she came out of the treatment the manager was waiting with a “body massage” voucher.

Thinking about the redress spa offered

Over a cup of tea I pointed out that this wasn’t great. She wasn’t going to come back, over an hour’s travel just for an hour long massage. We couldn’t use it for another day because we always get the packages! So suggested that she ask for the value of it off the spa package next time! Maybe it was the superb relaxing treatments I received, maybe it was The Calmer Cat approach (we will never know what we would have got had I complained later, there were breaches of the Law there after all…..!) but she got it without any help from me! So next time our day will be another half price spa day plus £10 each off with the voucher for buying that day plus £50. Good eh?

Complaining at the time

Usually I always say you should write not ‘phone to complain effectively but sometimes you need to complain at the time and you need to be calm. That’s important. I get stroppy which gets one nowhere, I also forget to say lots of things that I would put in a letter! However, I don’t think even I would have got stroppy here. Why? Isn’t it obvious? The customer care and apologies for the service were good. Any company can make mistakes, it’s how you apologise and make amends that is important.

Telling people when you receive good service and when you don’t

The old saying about the customer who has a good experience tells one person the one who has a bad experience tells 10 may now be well out of date with the rise of the Internet. But just as there is room for telling hundreds or thousands of more people about your bad experience(s) in social media you can tell people about good service when things go wrong. I have been known even when getting redress there and then to complain again at a later stage, but here there was no need. THAT  is how you do customer service. Oh and not forgetting that the treatments are just lovely, the therapists are excellent! Oh and the irony? Calmer Cat wants James to do the massage when we next go…..

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Author: Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow

Consultant | Author | Speaker | Blogger | Presenter | Journalist Helping to make, prevent and deal with complaints

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