3 Ways to Transform Negative Customer Experiences

May 19, 2024

A certain airline stranded me. A lot. Once for 9 hours and another time overnight with no compensation. I told my associate, “We fly them just when they’re the only choice.”

And that was the case recently. So here I am unhappy about patronizing a poorly run company when the flight attendant asked me if I wanted some cookies.

The one thing I really like—okay love—about this airline is their cookies. So I said, “Yes.”

She said, “You know if you squirt a lime on them, they taste like key lime pie.”

How did she know key lime pie is one of my favorites?

“Would you like a lime?” she asked with a big smile.

I said “Yes” again. She waited for me to try it, and of course I loved it. We chatted some more and she continued to stop by for the rest of the flight and check on me.

Now I want to fly that airline.

She transformed my negative customer experience into a positive one…with a cookie.

Here are the 3 Ways she did it that you can implement to transform negative customer experiences to positive ones:

She Engaged Me
She asked more than, “Beverage? Pretzels?”

She looked me in the eye and smiled. She engaged me in a conversation. She even told me how to use the cookies to make pie crust.

This level of personal engagement is rare in customer experiences today. “What do you want?” is more the norm said with an air of “You interrupted me.”

Treat every customer like she is a person first. The engaging, personal transaction with him is Step 1 that leads to a lifetime customer relationship.

She Was Enthusiastic
She genuinely loves those cookies like me. She was enthusiastic about them. She met me at our point of common interest.

Be enthusiastic about every dimension of your work. Share it with every customer. Give every customer an opportunity to experience how much you love what you do.

She Exceeded Expectations
She gave me 2 packs of cookies with 2 lime wedges.

Often, I have to beg to get one because they’re only standard issue during certain hours.

She checked back on my coffee several times.

Usually I have to ask.

Your customers’ expectations are rather meager in most cases. Mine involved cookies and coffee. You have an exceptional opportunity to remarkably and easily exceed those expectations.

So what will you do today for your customers that will transform their negative experiences into positive ones and keep them coming back for life?

Engage them. Share your enthusiasm with them. Exceed their expectations.

They positively will want to do business with you forever.

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