An Incredible Customer Service Idea: The 5 Dollar Lifeboat

The 2nd-generation who owns a series of Ace Hardware stores, Tom Glenn, informs an uplifting story about his father, Elder Glenn.

Elder Glenn was employed in the home improvement store eventually as he was contacted by an upset customer who stated he’d an issue. The client had bought two products that every featured a $5 rebate. He’d completed all of the steps to assert the rebates, which incorporated mailing the receipt and code around the package towards the manufacturer. However, he never received the rebates, by this time he was becoming irritated.

Obviously, it had not been Elder’s fault the rebates weren’t sent – possibly these were lost within the mail or delayed through the manufacturer. But he didn’t allow that to deter him from solving his customer’s problem. He simply visited the cashier and requested for 2 $5 bills in the check out. Without any questions or hassle towards the customer, he simply handed the person the cash. The client was surprised he’d expected a confrontation.

There after, Elder were built with a friend for existence (in addition to a loyal customer). Each time the client arrived the shop, he’d look for Elder simply to say hello.

Elder shared this story and also the lesson that may be learned from this in the team conferences. He even gave the idea a reputation – the “Five-Dollar Lifeboat.” He stated that just for $5 he switched an unsatisfied customer around. Confronted with a scenario by which he might have lost a person, rather he switched the client right into a loyal fan from the store, and sure acquired his business for several years – business that may be worth hundreds or 1000s of dollars. He gave his employees the liberty to make use of the “Five-Dollar Lifeboat” when needed to consider proper care of a person.

Others employ this concept too. The Ritz-Carlton might be stated to possess a “Two-1000-Dollar Lifeboat.” Its workers are approved to invest as much as $2,000 to consider proper care of a guest that has been wronged.

The 5-Dollar (or even more) Lifeboat does include some training to assist employees make use of the concept to the best effect. They’re trained when and how to place the tool into action. With this customer-focused concept to work needs a couple of basics:

1. Correctly train employees.

2. Empower the workers. Have confidence in them to get it done right.

3. Once they still do it, celebrate their success. When they do not understand the idea and get it done wrong, turn it into a teachable moment without eroding their confidence and rely upon the machine.

You will be surprised how it is possible to have a small, lifeboat floating in the middle of a wide variety of hunters. Of course, only the thoughts can be annoyed, but according to the maritime rules, there is a lifeboat service on the board.