The 4th step in service recovery: compensation.
Just saying I'm sorry is nice customer service. Compensation moves it to what I call service recovery. How do you take the customer who is ready to kill you, who never intends to come back, how do you flip the situation so that he is more loyal, that he comes back?
I am so sorry sir that we had to make you wait 30 minutes for your meal. Obviously, it's our fault. What I'd like to do, is in addition to waving your meal for today, a coupon for $30 for you and you friend to come back and join us for dinner at your convenience. Mr. Shaw, we really value your business. We want you to come back.
So, we all have products and services that have high value, low cost. Let's say that I weighed the cost of a meal. My real cost might be $5. If I gave away a $30 coupon, my real cost might be $15. Now, I've spent $20 on this guy. Gotta understand, he's never coming back, but now I've put handcuffs on him. I've waved his meal. Nobody's ever done that before probably, and then I gave him a gift coupon as compensation. All of us have products and services that have high value, low cost. We want every single employee to be able to use those when you screw up, when bad things happen.