JCPenney WOWs Customer with Empathic, Heartfelt Email Response

A few years ago one of my clients sent me a copy of an email she’d received from JCPenney Portrait Studio. My client, Angela, had taken her 2-month old daughter to the studio to have her very first professional photo taken. Though Angela had an appointment, she, her husband and infant daughter waited for more than 45 minutes past their appointment time.

As you can imagine, 45 minutes of waiting with a 2-month old is challenging. Angela said that by the time they got in the studio for photos, her daughter was tired, cranky and hungry. Because of her daughter’s understandable disposition, they just couldn’t get a quality photo of the precious baby girl. Angela went home and emailed JCPenney to express her disappointment. Forty-eight hours later Angela received what she described as “The best customer service email I have ever received.”

Here’s an excerpt from the original email Angela received:

“As a mother of three children, I can certainly understand the frustration and disappointment you had with having to wait so long and then not having the quality sitting you are entitled to.”

 

That WOWed me too. This representative related to Angela and responded with sincere empathy. That really resonated with Angela.

Take a look at how the representative offered a recovery and apology:

“You will be receiving a letter for four free sheets of portraits at a future sitting as a way of apology. I realize that this does not make up for the time and effort already spent with all of this but I do hope that it does in some way show how truly regretful I am.”

 

Don’t you just love that last sentence? “I realize that this does not make up for the time and effort already spent with all of this but I do hope that it does in some way show how truly regretful I am.” The representative is offering a personal, heartfelt apology.

Click image to read entire email response from JCPenney

 

The bottom line: When you are responding to customer complaint emails, take the time to express sincere empathy by relating to the customer and responding based on this empathic relation. Also be sure to always offer a heartfelt apology. When you do, you will not only solve the problem the customer experienced, but you will restore their confidence and regain goodwill.

Now you can give your representatives even more great skills for delivering the best customer experience and for handling difficult customer situations. Sign up for my email list and learn specific tips, approaches, and phrases to help your employees help your customers.

Excellent Problem Response Letter From American Airlines

Watch my full customer recovery video to get 5 steps for restoring customer confidence after service failures.

Published by

myragolden

Myra Golden is an author, trainer and keynote speaker who has been helping companies for over twenty years to improve the customer experience through her customer service training workshops. Myra has a master’s degree in human relations and a bachelor’s degree in psychology, helping her to understand the challenges of developing the best customer experience as it relates to the psychology of the employees. Myra has helped Verizon Business, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Michelin Tires, Frito-Lay, Vera Bradley and many others improve the customer experience through her training. She was named one of the Top 10 Customer Service Bloggers by Huffington Post and she is the co-author of Beyond WOW!

2 thoughts on “JCPenney WOWs Customer with Empathic, Heartfelt Email Response

  1. Hello Myra,

    I really like your Tips and Articles. I found them very usefull.

    I wonder if you have some material to share related a empathy in Email-based Customer Services related to Holidays, Vacations, Graduation or Honey-moon.

    For example, a customer wrote an email asking for a Honeymoon trip, which is the best way to show empathy?

    Thanks,
    Regards,

    Esther Castellanos

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s