How do you get 100% customer satisfaction every time? For a good source of frustration and inspiration, check out this fellow blogger.

In baseball, batting averages can be less than 4 out of 10. Those numbers look a bit more grim in the surgical world.

Imagine a baseball player retiring and looking for something to do. He’s flipping through a medical school brochure one day, and an idea hits him. He could become a brain surgeon in just 3,454 easy steps! (I know, it takes an imagination the size of Wrigley Field, but don’t leave your seat for the hot dog stand just yet.)

So, this retired MLB superstar batting hero whose been averaging 4 hits out of every 10 waltzes through medical school in a sweet full ride scholarship due to bad manners but good connections (his sister is the medical director’s mistress) and he lands a job at XYZ hospital.

It’s his first brain surgery and he’s sweating bullets. You know how rookies are. Especially when they’re used to big league standards, i.e.scratching yourself in front of 30,000 fans, spitting sunflower seed shells all over a multi-million dollar sports complex and getting rich on a 60 to 70 percent miss rate… steee-rike ONE!

Now he’s up to bat at the new job, doing his routine, popping his neck, popping and re-popping each knuckle, scrubbing up to his elbows, and finally trying to wrangle into a pair of medium-sized surgical latex gloves with wet hands…(where’s the blankesurgeonty-blank Larges when you need ’em? Mr. Jones is already under the ether and the surgical team is buzzing in the OR, clattering forceps, scissors, and adjusting the volume on the stereo.)

Our MLB big bat retiree arrives,  hoping no one notices his fingers poking from his latex mediums or the sweat rings forming under the arms of his pale blue pastel scrubs.  He’s focused. He’s in the zone. He’s used to big bucks and big crowds. This little bitty surgical room ain’t  diddly squat.

He takes his place at the plate. Before him is Mr. Jones’ shaved scull, ready for the saw.

Our MLB rookie brain surgeon spits into both shredded gloves, cracks his knuckles in unison for one final prep, and picks up the saw, waving it menacingly behind his right ear, waiting for the pitch as the surgical team stares in bewilderment.

HOW TO GET 100% CUSTOMER SATISFACTION

As you can imagine, the story doesn’t go well for our rookie brain surgeon. If you’ve grown accustomed to being a Big League-r, you’ll likely to get used to failing at bat more often than succeeding.

If you’re really a brain surgeon (or an engineer) you insist on things going well all the time. The results could be disastrous even if one foul ball occurs.

So, here’s the “happy medium” for those of you who miss the ball like a baseball batter, yet want the results of a successful surgery:

◊When mistakes occur, correct them yourself. 100%

◊If you can’t correct them yourself, get someone right away to do it who can

◊If you can’t correct the mistake as a team, immediately inform the customer and ask what you can do to ensure their satisfaction

REAL WORLD EXAMPLE

In my world, I am an illustrator. I draw a picture from someone’s photograph onto a canvas or a tee shirt. Pretty simple stuff. But, on a few occasions, the customer isn’t satisfied. However, I don’t hear about it at the time of purchase, because…

A. They don’t want to hurt my feelings (you know how sensitive artists can be!)

B. They already paid for it and it takes a while to regret their decision fully

My customers text message me their photos for me to create my illustration. So, in one instance, a customer text messaged me that she wasn’t happy with the results. (This was the next day). I answered that I was sorry for the unsatisfactory result and offered to re-draw her picture free of charge. I sent her a sample sketch, which she liked, and proceeded with the final product, which she picked up.

In another case, a customer lived out of town. I sent him a follow up message, stating that I hoped he enjoyed his art and he could get a discount if he placed a new order in the next 30 days. THIS IS IMPORTANT. If you ask for feedback, and offer an incentive, you can get more business AND determine where you’re slipping up.

When he replied that he wasn’t impressed, I again offered a free re-do. He complied, and liked the new version of his picture. This time, I had to mail it. All free of charge, of course.

And that, my friends, makes me now batting a thousand with my customers.

John Cockroft isn’t perfect. But, he tries. 1ofakindonline.com for his illustration business site.

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