On Service: No one expects you to be perfect

Last week my mom got some flowers as a thank you gift. She was delighted by the gesture and when she went to open the flowers (which were delivered by a third party) she saw that a tulip was frozen, a rose was burnt brown by the cold and the water the flowers were in was practically freezing. Now my mom is a pretty nice lady and she is not the sort to make noise over little things, but in this case she decided the store ought to know that their flowers were arriving in this state.

When my mom called, the store listened, and perhaps more importantly, my mom felt listened too. They also took the next step and sent my mom a very nice arrangement of tulips, and that’s the most powerful part of this story. No one expects you to be perfect. I know my mom didn’t. She called and did not kick up a fuss, it was just an “FYI” as she knows these things happen. The store sent the second arrangement because it was the right thing to do, and that was an unexpected gesture on their part, and pretty much perfect.