In Mark Hurst's latest Good Experience, he recounts his recent customer experience in The JetBlue Customer Experience, Sliding.
A big lesson I come away with is that it is absolutely essential to the future of a company to always tell the truth. Everyone who knows me will tell you that there is nothing I dislike more than a LIAR! (This is where I'd love to include a live link to my ex's blog!) With the big push for transparency at every level coupled with the instantaneous connectedness of customers and potential customers, honesty is a 'no brainer.' That and making good for any inconvenience they may have experienced goes a long way. People will understand if you're upfront and honest and, if the situation calls for it, offer a simply, genuine "I'm sorry". They will forgive. They will continue as your customers. And, they will refer people to you!
For those of you not acquainted with Mark Hurst, he's the guy who conceived and produces the annual GEL Conference, a kind of New York counterpart to the TED Conference. His company, Creative Good been engaged for years in working with client companies to develop and execute customer experience strategy.