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1,500 Puzzle Pieces… Minus One!

Vincent bought a 1,500-piece jigsaw puzzle from Robinson’s Department Store for his wife. He writes:

‘After spending two months on the puzzle, she was upset to find a last piece missing. We searched the house but the piece eluded us. At our wits’ end, we went to Robinson’s for help.

‘To our great surprise, the staff, without asking another question, simply opened a new box of the same puzzle and assisted us in searching for our missing piece. Today, we are loyal shoppers at Robinson’s – need I say more?’

Imagine the scene as Vincent, his wife and the sales staff pored through 1,500 pieces to find the missing piece. Imagine the feeling of intent collaboration as they sorted through the pieces by color and shape. Imagine the shared excitement when they finally ‘found’ the missing piece.

Imagine how many shoppers noticed this effort and gained a positive impression of the store’s after-sales service.

Imagine the satisfaction felt by Vincent’s wife as she put the missing piece into place. Imagine how much money Vincent and his wife will spend at Robinson’s this year.

It would have been easier for Robinson’s to simply give a whole new puzzle! Easier, yes, but much less effective from a customer loyalty point of view.

Key Learning Point

When things go wrong, your best recovery effort is required. But don’t just provide the missing piece (that’s the recovery), also provide unique personal assistance (that is the memorable effort).

Action Steps

Give your staff the authority they need to take immediate recovery actions. Speed and generosity get remembered and rewarded.