We’ve all had occasions when the product or service we’ve received from a business leaves a lot to be desired. Recently I’ve used Twitter on a few occasions to help me rectify service shortcomings. Here’s what I’ve learned which may help when designing service recover strategies for your business. Service recovery is about maintaining customer loyalty by converting an angry customer to a happy customer. This is a huge and critical challenge.
1. Active listener or reader – Be an active listener when you speak to the aggrieved party or read carefully the customer’s problem. What is it they are unhappy with and what do they want? Make notes and record the time and date in a database designed for this purpose. Respond rapidly.
2. Be respectful – Make sure all staff are respectful in their dealings with customers at all times, particularly when someone is expressing concern about a product or service. Your staff are all “brand ambassadors” – make sure they act like one.
3. Put yourself in the place of the customer – When you are engaging the customer, put yourself in their place and understand and appreciate their frustration.
4. Seek ways of solving the problem – Ask them what you can do to solve their problem. Make suggestions to resolve the situation. Find all the reasons and ways that you can help rather than the reasons why you can’t do anything.
5. Make an offer – Make an offer to help resolve the situation.
6. Sincerely Apologize – Apologize for the lack of service or the poor quality of the product.
7. Let them know they are important – Tell them the company appreciates their patronage and their business is important to the company.
8. Follow-up – Make sure the customer is contacted for follow-up and the problem is resolved to the customer’s satisfaction.
Any customer recovery strategy must be based on consistency not heroics! The simple rule to tell staff is treat all customers like you’d want your mom to be treated.