Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Fixing Your Mistakes

Last week I was at a Starbucks in South Carolina picking up a breakfast sandwich for a friend.  Right after I placed my order, the cafe filled up like crazy, and the poor barista was overwhelmed. 

After about ten minutes, I was sure my order had been lost in the morning rush.  When I asked about it, not only did I get my sandwich in a hurry and a sincere apology, I also got this card for a free drink.

It reminded me of why I love Starbucks.  Sure they made a mistake, but they did everything they could to make it right.

As leaders who serve kids and families in the name of Jesus how could we do anything less?  When we deliver less than a great experience for our families, what do we do to make it right?

When a child gets hurt or check-in takes longer than normal or a leader fails to follow a security procedure or you just forgot to do something you told a parent you would do, what can you do to make amends?  

Maybe it's a phone call or an e-mail or just an honest face-to-face apology.  Maybe it's something extra, like a gift card for ice cream or a free Redbox rental.  

Sometimes we can take this too far and feed a consumeristic mindset, but there's nothing wrong with owning up to our mistakes and doing whatever we can to preserve the relationship we may have damaged.

In his book The Customer Rules former Disney executive Lee Cockerell writes, "A sincere 'I'm sorry' is a small investment, and the returns can be huge."

Since my Starbucks experience, I've been telling everyone about my awesome customer service, a pretty incredible turn around considering it all started with one of their people blowing an order.  That's just a little glimpse of the power of owning our mistakes and doing what we can to make things right.

How about you?  What have done for your families to make up for a bad experience in Children's Ministry?

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