Our stellar customer service maven at MarketingProfs, Shelley Ryan, received a letter from a participant in a recent company event complaining about a typo in our collateral materials....
Shelley responded by saying, "Yes, this bugs me too. Have you ever read Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation?"
A brilliant response, this accomplishes three things in addition to responding to the customer's query:
1. it defuses the complaint;
2. it accepts responsibility for the error; and
3. it admits the obvious fact that nothing can be done at this juncture.
Her response shows deep insight into the customer's mindset by recognizing that this complaint was not so much a complaint as a cry to be heard, demonstrating despair over the current state of our mother tongue. Shelley humanized our company and put us on the same side of the grammatical divide as our fastidious customer, turning complaint into comradeship.
Would that my bank, phone company, cable provider and credit card issuer possessed this kind of intelligence!
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