I talked yesterday about snuffing out customer service issues before they even happenâ€”however, sometimes issues happen and there’s nothing you can do about it. How do you solve issues after they have happened? I have a customer service horror story I was recently toldâ€”it’s about the opening day for a new amusement park, everything went wrong and they did nothing to fix it.
There was a well-known amusement park opening and they were expecting about 11,000 guests. It turns out approximately 22,000 excited new guests showed up to try out the new rides. The lines for the rollercoasters were over three hours long; people were defecating in line because they didn’t want to lose their spotsâ€”disgusting to say the least. So this perturbed guest went to complain to customer service but the line was well over one hour long. What should this well-established amusement park have done differently? Obviously they should have prepared for a few thousand more guests, but like I said, stuff happens. There wasn’t very good damage control after the disastrous opening day.
Be apologetic and mean it.
The woman who told me this story called them after she left and asked if there would be any sort of discount for a second visit or even a discount in their store or restaurantsâ€”nothing. I said in a previous blog, admit your mistakes. They weren’t even admitting that they didn’t properly prepare and they weren’t doing anything to apologize for the guests’ horrible experience.
Have an extensive crisis plan. They should have had a clear plan of what to do in case 11,000 extra guests showed upâ€”sure that won’t happen every time but it’s necessary to have a planâ€”an extensive plan. Know what you’ll do during the crisis and what you’re going to do after to resolve the crisis.
What would you do in this situation? How would you have handled it?