But, one session didn’t live up to its billing. Powerpoint slides overloaded with bullet points, presenters reading directly from slides while facing away from the audience, an uninspiring message unrelated to the course description in the conference handbook – all the vices I’ve repeatedly griped about, rolled up into one dreary session.
So I walked out. Life’s too short.
The conference guide offered a money-back satisfaction guarantee, so I decided to see what would happen if I actually complained. I talked to the staff at the registration desk, and they called the conference manager. She immediately offered me a full refund of my registration fee – no questions asked. That’s more than $1000! I backpedaled and said I would be satisfied to be refunded only the amount for the unsatisfactory seminar. She insisted that the guarantee promised a full refund, and that she would arrange it.
Wow! I was impressed (and a little worried that this might get me black-listed with IHI), especially since IHI has very little control over the independent contractors who present the seminars. I couldn’t wait to tell this story to everyone I knew at the conference. I admit to being a little skeptical about whether it would really happen, so I checked with the Health Quality Council (who sponsored my trip). The money had been refunded, almost before we returned from the meeting.
What a great example of customer-centred service:
- Trust your front-line staff to keep promises that your organization has made.
- Don’t make your customer jump through hoops after they’ve had a bad experience.
- Recognize that, even though your organization may not directly control every aspect of the process, it is still responsible for the outcome and the customer’s experience.
Okay, IHI, I get it – you model good behaviour. Nicely done. But are you going far enough with this guarantee?