Turning a bad customer experience into a good thing

Bad customer experiences are the best place to learn. They are humbling, they are hard to hear, but it’s where you will learn the most about where to improve.

In this episode of the Health Fit Business podcast, we share our experiences with bad customer experiences and how we utilized that objectively as feedback rather than as criticism to make lifelong customers and improve our processes.

This Week’s Challenge

Go above and beyond expectations the next time someone has a bad experience and use that to refine your current processes






Ryan: I’m Dr. Ryan Debell. Thanks for tuning in once again to the Health Fit Biz podcast. This is episode number 23 and in this episode what we cover is why a bad customer experience and negative feedback about your business is a good thing that will help you grow and what we talked about is specific examples of how we have encountered that and what we did to turn a negative thing into a very positive thing. Now unfortunately due to travel schedules, Dr. Anthony Gustin and myself are recording over Skype. So we are going to be recording the majority of episodes for the year 2017 together so please bear with us for the next few episodes where we are recording over Skype. But we’re trying. Anyways, without further ado, let’s listen into episode number twenty three.

Anthony: Hi Doc! Are we live?

Ryan: We are live Dr. Anthony Gustin!

Anthony: With that be considered? Welcome to the episode of

Ryan: The Health

Anthony: Fit

Ryan: Biz

Anthony: Ness podcast

Ryan: Podcast. Number twenty

Anthony: Number 320…

Ryan: No. Number 23.

Anthony: No. I thought we’re up there.

Ryan: That’s because you think we have the number of listeners equated to the number of episodes.

Anthony: Where we are now, 52?

Ryan: Well, we’re at episode 23 so I know we have at least twenty three people listening in so thank you to everybody who’s tuning in.

Anthony: Yeah. Thank you so much. And if those people all told at least two people that’d be 69 and that’d be great. We can have many people listening to this show. So anyway, challenge of the week, tell two people.

Ryan: Is that the weekly challenge?

Anthony: That’s the wrap.

Ryan: This week we want you to tell people about how cool HFT podcast is.

Anthony: Alright. So what we’re actually talking about this week is customer experience and why bad customer experience is actually a good thing. Sounds kinda of… but please explain, Doctor.

Ryan: Well, you know, we, if everything always went well you would never be able to make yourself better because let’s say someone had a perfect customer experience you would go, “Wow! I’m amazing. I provide such an awesome service.” And that actually doesn’t help you improve. You learn to improve from the bad experiences. And I’m not talking about the bad experiences where people are just extremely finicky, you know like, some people just wanna start issues. That’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about real legitimate issues that somebody has with either the service you’re providing or the way that your business is running or the way that a certain thing is happening. You learn from the troubled experiences. I think it’s the good way to word that. The troubles allow you to refine what you’re doing whether that’s the service, whether that’s the payment processing, whether that’s the quality of the product or whatever it is. You learn from those bad experiences. So on the one hand, human being do not like to be criticized like we don’t like that confrontation. Usually, someone’s criticising, “Uh you know that person’s dumb!” or you know, well whatever. You know, they obviously didn’t understand like we take it the wrong way. We should use those bad experiences as a way or suggestion on what could we do to make that not happen for that person. Well, how can we make what we’re doing better?

Anthony: Right. And so, if you are running a business and this be any type of service, business, any type of online business, any type of business where you’re trading anything for any kind of money, you are going to have a moment where somebody’s gonna be dissatisfied for whatever reason. And whether that is something that you can control or not is an opportunity for you for a few things. You can use it for awareness to build better process in your business or my favorite thing to do is you can use it as a point to interact with this customer, to blow them away and win a lifetime customer. So what I mean by that is people now expect when they interface with a means of a business to have an amazing experience and so like you can’t really stand out  by just offering a great experience off the bat. What you can do though is if things go bad that’s where all this traditionally fail. They just, you know, you go through some automated phone system or where you you have some lackluster customer service in place. And then people get super super pissed off because all of this went wrong and now they have to deal with it in a very, you know, unsatisfactory way. And so, example of just a way where for me is consumer where I am now a lifetime customer and love companies is one I was just talking to Virgin Airlines right before we recorded this for issue about some flight from months ago. I didn’t call for two months and I called them up and they answered the phone immediately and took care of everything within like thirty seconds. It’s like, damned! Virgin is amazing. Every time I talked with them about customer service issues they take of things immediately like this is the reason why I want to book with them all the time. Another one, American Express. I’m not getting paid by these companies by the way, even though I should be. So reach out if you want a forty three seconders, American Express and Virgin. And American Express is the same way. If have any problems with any kind of charges or anything I ring their customer service and boom! Handled immediately. No questions asked. Where if it’s another bank, like I gonna reap on blue business card right now. Worst customer experience ever and I just closed my account with them.

Ryan: What happened? What did they do?

Anthony: I don’t wanna get into. It’s a whole big thing that’s… It’s so terrible!

Ryan: I don’t wanna ruffle the doctor’s feathers.

Anthony: Yeah, it’s so… Whereas I had a negative experience with American Express but now I see them in a very favorable way. I had another experience with Jetblue and now I want to bury them in this podcast to all forty three listeners. You see the difference here? And so…

Ryan: You could’ve. I mean there’s nothing preventing them from doing the same, similar thing. They just, that’s not how they do it. That’s not how they operate.

Anthony: And so for me being aware of that, I was, when I was building my businesses whether that’s been in the Chiro Space or even more recently with pureWOD is how can I make this situation so one, it doesn’t happen again or can minimize as much as possible or wasn’t have issues or two, how can I now “wow” this person as much as possible. So like in the beginning I was handling all the shipping and so I was also handling customer service, all the emails, everything.

Ryan: Which was incredible by the way ‘cause I remember seeing you do that in person.

Anthony: Yeah. It was very time consuming thing but here’s what happened like let’s say there was an issue with somebody’s order, it’s gonna happen like you, no matter how small or large it was, it’s gonna happen. Let’s say they got the wrong product in the mail. What I did is I immediately apologize furiously, sent them a free product, and then refund their initial order and then gave usually a coupon for fifty percent off with a handwritten note.

Ryan: That’s so far above and beyond what somebody would, somebody like, “Just send me the replacement.” But you go beyond just the right thing to do.

Anthony: Far far…

Ryan: You know, beyond just correcting the mistake.

Anthony: So while it may have cost me initially like, “Oh shit!” like I’m start up and it’s really hard for me to not have fifty dollars right now. I looked at some of those customers’ accounts since then. And two years later they’re still purchasing stuff from me and they have spent thousands of dollars lifetime whereas if I was “Oh you know, whatever.” If I would, I would never bought again. Ever. So that’s a huge point to let them feel special and like we care ‘cause we do and so like now the way I kind of scaled up is that Tim Ferris approach which is now I have now distributive fulfillment center and customer service employees that handles all the stuff for me that do a great job. I would’ve done with then is I said, “Hey here’s like basically allowance per customer. If there’s a problem I want you to go above and beyond. Think about what you would want and then make it even more generous and take care of that to a max of like say a hundred fifty dollars. And if it’s go over that let me know and we’ll figure that out.” So enabling my customer service reps to look at the problem and then go crazy to try to make this person happy because that’s what I would want.

Ryan: Yeah. I think that the… And we’ll probably talk about more in the future episode but the idea of thinking about long term versus short term value or long term versus short term goals like what you’re trying to achieve, right? Because short term, you might lose money but long term, it’s better overall for the business.

Anthony: And so this an example of trying to win customers for a lifetime, which what I’m all about. But also a way to look at this is if a problem comes up, another way I could think about this is with managing subscriptions initially and some people they want they can sign up for discount and receive the product on a monthly basis. And initially, there were a ton of question and instead of me be like, “Oh this feels like super annoying. It’s just that another customer service headache.” Looking at this and saying, “Okay, how can I eliminate this problem from happening?” We developed a set of videos and FAQ pages and all these stuff and fix some of the process to make it a better customer service or just a customer experience in general. And so, using this poor customer service experience is something to one, win them over and impress them, or two, refine your processes. I think it’s a different way to look at it, the must way to look at it which is like, “Should I need to put out this fire now?”

Ryan: Yup. That’s going above and beyond. I’ll give a couple of examples on my end. So obviously I’m not doing physical products the way that you are, but a lot of issues pop up doing digital things and live events. So for example, I have, you know, live events are an interesting biz. I’ll go, I’ll fly across the country to a city and then I’ll get people who email me the night before the workshop asking for a refund.

Anthony: Buyer’s remorse or what?

Ryan: Well, I have on there, like you know, there’s no refunds thirty days. Like if it’s less than thirty days before the event I usually don’t do refunds, right? But then, you’ll get this case, people will email they be like, “Hey! You know like I’m sick. I don’t think I can make it.” And you’ve got two options there. You could go I can either refund this person and now you’re just out, the money that they paid, or you could say, “Oh well, there’s no refunds. No exceptions. Thirty days,” And then, I mean it seems sort of like obvious the right answer is, right? You give the person a refund because although they may not be a customer that time, can you imagine if you didn’t give that person a refund? They’ll be like, “I was sick and they charge me and I couldn’t…”  Like how messed up would that be? That actually happened to me. I was going to a ten-day certain workshop that is I’m not gonna name and ‘cause I don’t need to bury them the way you feel with JetBlue.

Anthony: JetBlue. They deserve it.

Ryan: But it was like a very physically demanding workshop that I was going to go to and I had like tweak my back or something right before like a week before the event. And like there was a physical test at the end of the event to like get the certification. And I email them and I was like, like there’s no way I’m gonna be able to do this because I had an acute injury. And they like wouldn’t refund me.

Anthony: Suck it up, Doctor!

Ryan: Yeah and I’m like, “What do you wa… You want me to come there and like not be able to do anything? Like how am I supposed to help the fact that this happened?” And I was, “I would never go to there thing now.”  And maybe I’ll just…

Anthony: Lost them.

Ryan: Maybe I hold grudges but like in my mind I would go like I don’t wanna go support that company if they’re gonna treat people that way. So I do my best to make sure that people don’t feel that way about the Movement Fix and that they’re not like, “Huh! Screw that thing. They’re trying to rip people off” Like do the right thing. So that’s example number one. The other example is I recently set up some systems when people are purchasing videos on my site. This is an oversight on my end but this customer wanted to purchase but there were no purchase options, payment options that were not credit card based. And so I had a thing set up that when people go to buy something if they don’t actually end up buying it and emails them asking them if they have questions or issues and this person responded, “I don’t have a credit card so I can’t buy it.” And so that to me was like, I need to make an option so like when people don’t have a credit card they can purchase and have a good experience and not render to this issues. So that lead me to change and add payment options that were non-credit card based. But if I hadn’t had those things in place I wouldn’t have no net or if I was very like defensive like, “Everybody should have a credit card. This is the way you should do it.” You know that, you’re losing the ability to provide value to people so you have to find ways to accommodate and make it so that it’s very easy for people to enjoy what you’re doing. So those are my two examples of like how my own personal experience has affected how I now try to operate as well as how do you handle feedback to make it even better. So every time something like that happens, it’s an opportunity to make it seamless and to make the experience for the customer or the client better than it was the day before.

Anthony: Right. And so I’m gonna backtrack a little bit over here and say, I love JetBlue Airlines. They’re great but they’re JetBlue business card is ran by Mastercard and that’s terrible. So the only thing I can say….

Ryan: So the airline?

Anthony: I love the airline.

Ryan: Now don’t you think though that’s an issue, that’s a whole other topic, but that’s an issue for JetBlue?

Anthony: Yeah. It’s the airline’s responsibility to have a good credit card processor. I understand that but…  

Ryan: Right.

Anthony: But the airline experience as a whole, I love the airline. Do not get the business card.  

Ryan: But what I’m saying is the bank or Mastercard is like tarnishing JetBlue’s airline reputation.

Anthony: A hundred percent.

Ryan: And like JetBlue needs to handle that.

Anthony: Yeah. Maybe I’ll tell them and change the whole thing for them.

Ryan: Maybe they’ll change over. They’ll completely change their credit card and negotiation like operations and they, I mean they should because now look what’s happening.

Anthony: Challenge of the week is to get us a JetBlue, Virgin, or American Express sponsorship for the next episode. Just kidding. If you want to but the real challenge will be to think about, if you listen to this podcast, you probably had some time of customer interface, next time you have a negative experience coming your way think first, I think this is the hierarchy which should be done first, “How to blow this person away?” So a quick example in my chiro clinic, if anybody had any problem with any visit for whatever reason, free visit. No questions asked. Free visit. No questions. Second, “How do I refine my processes to minimize this again?” Okay, so there’s the two things, right?

Ryan: Uh hmm.

Anthony: Turnaround.

Ryan: What?

Anthony: And turn it around I said.

Ryan: Oh!

Anthony: Turn the negativity into positivity.

Ryan: So that’s it. Two part or is there a third part?

Anthony: It’s a one part thing. Turn the negative experience into a positive experience. Two ways. I making it an outstanding experience and by also refining you processes. So I think with that being said I think we should go get after it. What do you think, Doctor?

Ryan: I think that it is time to get after it.

Anthony: Adios.

Ryan: Thank you guys for tuning in to this episode of the Health Fit Business podcast. If you found it helpful, please share with someone that you think it would also help and leave us a five-star rating on iTunes. Make sure also to go to and sign up for the email notifications to which you can find right on the homepage so that you get all the updated podcasts and blog posts sent directly to you. Until then, we will see you next time.