Rise Performance Group

How a Leader Can Turn an Unhappy Customer Around


Let’s face it.  The last think we want to do is to call a billing/collections department to complain about a bill.  It’s aggravating — especially when a health insurance company is also involved.

Knowing the power of comments captured on video and distributed via social media like YouTube, I was just about ready to “go public.”  But this call to Mid-Cities HME/HomePoint Home Medical led to a delightful surprise.

When I called the company, the woman in charge of billing politely asked a series of questions and listened to my concerns.

“Mr. Kaplitz, let me check.  I’ll be back in a couple of minutes.  (A couple of minutes pass.)  This isn’t a mistake by you or the insurance company.  This was our mistake.  I sincerely apologize.  Would you like me to credit your account or put the money back on your credit card?”

Then “I hope you’ll accept my apology and consider continuing doing business with us.”

Who’s the woman who handled the situation as a leader would?  Misty Cleveland, Billing/Collections Dept. Manager of Mid-Cities HME/HomePoint Home Medical in Grand Prairie, TX, a Dallas suburb.

Why did Ms. Cleveland impress me as a leader?  She just didn’t take responsibility, holding her company accountable.  She did more.

Here are three actions she took that’ll help build your customer service leadership qualities.  This is short and sweet:

This yet another example of leadership guru John Maxwell’s point that you can lead from anywhere in your organization.

How do you recognize a leader so the people she reports to appreciate her?   It took less than a minute to capture this on an iPhone, post it on YouTube, then see within 24 hours several dozens of hits.  

However you recognize leaders at all levels of companies, we recommend you do it.  Recognizing others for their great work speaks to your leadership qualities — even if you’re “just” a customer.

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