Failed customer service opportunity

(... and some random photos)
 I love feedback, especially when it is positive.  Negative feedback usually makes me feel uncomfortable at first but it can be a great opportunity to improve something that isn’t quite right.  I wish I got my reaction right every time… but I’m still learning.

I remember back to that majorly failed opportunity I had…
A lady came up to my stall at a market a few months ago and said, “Wonderful soap! I bought some from you at a Medieval market…”  she hesitated.  She was English and as they are often so polite I think it can be extra difficult for the English to offer negative feedback.  She got up the courage to mention to me that although she loved the soap, she didn’t like the size of the small soap she bought (my half-size bar).  She offered the suggestion of making them round.

Bingo!  Opportunity to:
-          thank her for providing her honest feedback
-          say Great Idea, I think I will try your suggestion!
-          offer her a larger bar for free to try out and see if she liked that size
-          possibly win over a return customer…
But NOOOOOO!  What did I do?  I am embarrassed to admit it… Okay, I did thank her for offering her opinion. At least I got one thing right.  But then… oh yes… I got into a defensive bit about why I prefer rectangular soap!  Why oh why!!!???   Basically she got away.  Probably won’t come back.
The funny thing is also that she was ABSOLUTELY right!  Although I worked very hard to get my regular size bar to a size that I love, I had never fully tried out my own half-size bar.  I have now and I don’t like it!  It is nice and small but too thick to get any rotation.  I would have to slice that in half to make it thinner or just scrap the half-size bar altogether.  For now I have scrapped it.
(my new shampoo bar shape)

So, for me, the moral of my story is that I should listen more carefully to customers’ feedback, especially when negative, and get my response right the first time because I can’t do it over.

Anyone have any customer service experiences they want to share?
PS.  I want to send out a huge CONGRATULATIONS!!! to my 15-year-old cousin Ronnie Remme who just won a silver medal this week for Canada in downhill skiing at the Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria!  Go Ronnie Go!!  Her father (my first cousin) was my ski coach for a season or two, many years ago, but I wasn’t very good at racing.  We are all pretty excited about Ronnie!

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