A couple of weeks ago I wrote about a dentist friend of mine who had a less than first class experience when purchasing some diary refill pages from a fancy French fashion store.

The funny thing was [funny coincidental, not funny ha-ha] that on this day, not only had the dentist purchased refill pages for his own diary, he had also purchased agenda pages for his wife’s smaller leather bound agenda as well.

Now that day, the pages for the wife’s agenda were available in the store, and were dutifully located, and gift wrapped for the dentist and his wife to take home, while the pages for the dentist’s agenda were back-ordered and shipped [as previously discussed].

And of course the size of the refill pages was checked by the store to match past orders from previous years for the same sized refills.

So fast forward….

So the gift wrapped pages for the wife’s agenda  were placed under the Christmas tree and although not opened on Christmas Day, were opened [officially] on January 1 for the purpose of being placed into the agenda folder to celebrate the New Year.

But there was one slight problem…

The agenda refill in the gift wrapped box was not loose single pages with holes for a ring binder [product RA4252], but rather a bound booklet of the same size with no holes punched [product RA4522].

A completely different product, sadly.

The thing was, the dentist really hadn’t planned to need to go anywhere near that store on his next visit to Sydney, but because of the store’s RIGID return policies [returns needed to be done in person], the dentist was now heading back into the city to exchange his own incorrectly filled order.

So it now meant the dentist had two errors in supply to rectify.

[And it was a real inconvenience for that dentist to have to PERSONALLY exchange the incorrect goods, when shipping them would have been a more practical solution.]

But hand deliver them he did.

And thank goodness, because when the dentist did visit the store, the store was able to RISE TO THE OCCASION with their Service Recovery processes.

Firstly, the employee that the dentist had been communicating with about the errors had arranged for the store manager to greet the dentist on his arrival, and to apologise immediately for the poor experience that the dentist and his wife had been subject to.

Secondly, the store manager had been able to locate agenda pages for 2022 for the dentist’s agenda folder, so he was able to leave with those correct pages that day.

Thirdly, the store manager back-ordered the smaller agenda pages that the dentist’s wife was in need of, and arranged for them to be couriered to the dentist’s home.

And fourthly, the store manager enclosed a gift of a small bottle of exclusive French perfume for the dentist’s wife as the store’s way of saying “Sorry” for all of the hiccups that had happened during what should have been a very straightforward buying experience.

The perfume was expensive.

And was wonderful….

All in all…

All in all, at the end of it all, there was peace again in the world.

Although initially it was far from a Five Star Buying Experience for the dentist and his wife, ultimately the apologies and the wonderful gift of the perfume were sufficient as a Service Recovery process to appease even the most discerning dentist.


And that’s the point:

Although your customer may be disappointed with your business’s original service defect, they will be in AWE at the way your business SEAMLESSLY swings into SERVICE RECOVERY MODE to make things right, no matter what.


Dr. David Moffet BDS FPFA CSP is a certified CX Experience coach. David works with his wife Jayne Bandy to help SME businesses improve their Customer Service Systems to create memorable World Class experiences for their valued clients and customers. Click here to find out how David and Jayne can help your business