Last weekend, I was craving a little bit of NYC and what better way to satisfy such a craving than finding a bagel for breakfast. I found the best bagel spot in my neighborhood and went to grab a bite. The line was out the door, so I was excited about the possibilities.

The smells were amazing and the shop’s sign promised, “No Toaster on Premises,” meaning that hot, fresh bagels were coming! Needless to say, my expectations were huge by the time I got to the counter and placed my order.

Unfortunately, they got my order wrong.

I sought out the manager who was expediting orders. He immediately apologized and asked where I was sitting. He promised to get it right.

What followed was a master class in customer service for the client (that would be me) and the business.

He first asked for an immediate redo of the order and prioritized it over the other orders.

Next, he asked the chef why it was wrong.  The chef said the order was given in a confusing way and they were not sure how to resolve it.

Then the manager talked to the person at the register who said, “I thought that’s how you entered it, that’s the workflow in the register.”

Finally, he pulled the original ticket and said, “Guys, let’s review this after the shift so we get it right next time.”

Wow. I was wildly impressed. He did everything right. Let’s fix the issue. Let’s understand the breakdown and, when the cause was not immediately clear, let’s review it together later as a team to get it right.

That’s the thing about serving customers. Nobody gets it right all the time, but with a little effort you can make it right and prevent the same thing from happening again.

That’s the theory behind our Service Ready products at Miller Heiman Group.  We teach specific, tactical, repeatable skills and methods to ensure your customers receive the best customer experience every time.

Mistakes happen. It’s how you respond and lead through the resolution that matters.

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