An Honest Mistake and a Wow Experience




In business, it’s when a company delivers experiences to prospects, customers, teammates, vendors, partners, and even spouses and children to where they hear the word “Wow”. They are so blown away by how well the business or that person nailed that. Don shares a “Wow” moment in this episode of Proven Entrepreneur.

An Honest Mistake and a Wow Experience

The story happened 20 years ago and that’s important to realize because what wow does is when the experience was delivered to the level of “Wow”, people will never forget. They’ll remember forever. In 2002, one of his companies is a contact center, and that business makes and receives phone calls, answers chat, email, live text, typically for Fortune 500 companies. The Congress of the United States passed what’s known as Do Not Call, and anyone making telephone calls, outbound telephone calls to residences needed to scrub their call list against the federal Do Not Call list. Most companies who did that used intermediaries service providers who would handle the scrubbing process, which will cause the sellers around $8500, since his company is not a seller, they shouldn’t pay anything to scrub for Do Not Call list but he mistakenly checked the wrong box in the 20-page form.


He mistakenly checked the seller’s box. So next billing cycle, he was shocked to see his bill that he was billed $8500 that was charged to the Federal Trade Commission of the United States. So he reached out to the vendor and narrates that he made a mistake but the vendor shrugged it off and inform him that it was his mistake and not theirs. He tried to reach out to FTC 

but to no avail, he received no call back from them. The last resort he could think of if to call and reach out to his card company which he did. And as he is narrating what happened, the customer service specialist in American Express assured him that the charge will be reverted, and even though it is FTC they are talking about, the card company assured him that they always side with their cardholder.


But the point of that whole story is this. The customer had a problem. And it was their problem, they couldn’t blame anybody because they made the mistake. And if it was going to end poorly, should be their responsibility to live up to their mistake.


But the merchant company, American Express, absolutely stood in front and said that they will help, doesn’t matter whose problem and whose mistake it is. And so 20 years later, it still sticks in Don’s mind of when American Express delivered a wow experience to me.


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