Type of firm: Home health care
Customer-service strategy: When this company (nursenextdoor.ca) stumbles, it delivers a "humble pie," a fresh-baked apple pie accompanied with a note that reads in part, "We are very humbled by our mistake and sincerely apologize for the poor service." The firm, with $10 million in annual revenue, has spent $1,300 on pies but reckons it has kept customers worth $90,000 in annual sales from defecting. This outcome is typical, according to John Tschohl, president of the Service Quality Institute in Minneapolis (customer-service.com) and one of the world's foremost experts on service recovery. According to his research, a recipient of good customer service will tell five other acquaintances on average. A client who suffers bad service will tell 10 and possibly even hundreds if he goes online to complain.