Contrast yesterday’s dot about abysmal service at Best Buy with the Apple Stores and their Genius Bar. For those unfamiliar, the Genius Bar is where the technology experts take appointments to solve problems with hardware, software or just user capability. When I recently had to make a visit, my laptop was fixed and cleaned in 15 minutes, all while I sat on a stool and gazed out lovingly at the many other Apple products that I would like to buy.

When something goes wrong with a product, it’s a point of frustration and anger with the user. Apple has anticipated that things will not be 100% perfect and created a way to make the repair process as pleasant as possible. In fact, by doing so at the Apple Store, they turn what could be (should be?) a negative event into a sales opportunity. Now that’s genius.

 Think about your product or service and where the failure points may occur. What could you do to minimize the impact that they have on your clients? Can you add extra attention and focus on helping things go right after they have gone wrong so that you net a positive outcome from an otherwise unpleasant experience?

Direct your geniuses to address the pain points, rather than the ongoing functions. Those who handle the hiccups well enhance their customer loyalty more than when things remain smooth.

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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