My heart fell into my feet as I read a 3-week old post on our facebook fan page from a member having real technical trouble with our site … If you own a business, then you know the feeling. What’s worse about it for us, though, is that she reported a problem that WE didn’t find until just this past weekend. If I had seen her post, we would have found the problem sooner.
Epic FAIL or extraordinary FREEDOM? At first I felt like a failure. Then I realized I’m the owner and founder of this site and I am free to deal with this however I see fit. The problem had already been fixed, but the horror of knowing it could have been fixed sooner and the knowledge that this member had cried out for help and gone unnoticed really bothered me!
I started to respond to her on facebook, but then changed it to a private message of apology, offering to refund her for the month. That still didn’t feel like enough, though. I felt haunted by the knowledge that we are a new startup site, we are going to have more problems, and we are going to frustrate more members. It’s inevitable! How could I turn this into something good?
I decided to go ahead and just refund her for the month without waiting for her to ask for it. That’s when a policy idea formed in my mind. In my message to her for the paypal refund I wrote…
Did I mention that all of this member service happened on Thanksgiving Eve? I was at my parents’ home, staying up late after everyone else was asleep. I was just puttering around on facebook, looking for more ways to network… Here is how she responded, and what a relief it was!
When members run into a problem on our site, I don’t want them thinking, “This site has too many problems! I’m quitting!” I want them to think, “Hey, I found a problem! If I report it, I’ll get a free month! I just saved some money!” Not only does this turn a bad situation into a good situation for all of us, it gave me the chance to turn technical troubles into triumph.
I was on such a high for setting my own high standard in customer service. I want my members to be happy. This is my dream. I’m the instructor. I’m the hardworking mom behind all of it. And I serve other hard working moms, dads, businessmen and businesswomen. They deserve high standards, and I got the chance to give it to them on Thanksgiving Eve!