I’ll admit it: Once in a
blue moon, I make a mistake. In fact, I made a particularly careless mistake
recently. Not too long ago, I bought a DVD burner for my computer. When it
arrived, I just assumed everything was in working order and being the busy bee
that I am, didn’t take a minute to try it out. More than a month after it
arrived, I finally slid the drive in my laptop and attempted to back up my hard
drive. After receiving a few error messages, I grabbed the drive and took a
long, hard look. Instead of buying a DVD drive, I had in fact bought the same
exact drive I already had – and it definitely didn’t burn DVDs.
I felt fairly stupid about
the mistake and while I knew it was my fault and my fault alone (I
double-checked the receipts just to make sure), I wanted help. So I planned to
make a plea to the computer company from which I had bought the drive. Only, I
tend to get angry – often for no particular reason – when speaking to customer
service reps, so I passed the phone to a friend who talks in a way that’s
simply amazing to witness.
My friend spoke to the
customer service rep like he was a friend. They threw around a few jokes,
talked about some of the things their jobs had in common and in the end,
appealed to the rep in a kind and honest way. My friend treated the person on
the other end of the phone like someone he was “in it with,” instead of what I
would have done – treating the man like the enemy from whom I was unlikely to
receive any help.
My friend used a little bit
of honey to catch his fly. The result? Even though the return policy clearly
stated that I had waited too long to return the product I bought, the customer
service rep agreed to take back the not-quite-a-DVD-burner and refund my money.
It was a win-win situation.
I, the customer, walked away happy. And the company now has won over me for
life as a loyal customer. Next time I make a mistake – or even better, the next
time someone faults me – I’m going to try a little honey. Give it a whirl… you
may be surprised at what a diff it makes.