Jeff Eilertsen offers service performance insights to address five essential service challenges every organization must successfully address. In this interview with Ron Kaufman, Jeff discusses the fourth challenge, Turning Customer Complaints to Customer Loyalty.
Service Recovery & Guarantees
Smart service providers are using technology to delight customers, become more efficient when serving customers, and recover customer loyalty when things do go wrong.
When you cannot deliver the service you promised to your customer, what do you do?
Falsely accused? Resist the urge to proclaim your innocence.
It’s a situation most of us dread. You’re faced with an angry customer, boss, employee, or family member. Something’s gone wrong and they’re about to tell you off. You can feel your blood pressure rising. What do you do?
Unhappy customers are opportunities, not hassles. Instead of looking at them as something you and your employees have to “deal” with, find ways to “bounce back” into unhappy customers’ good graces. Learn how several well-known businesses are already doing just that.
I recently stayed at the Banyan Tree resort in Macau. This was my first time staying with the 5-star Banyan Tree group. All I knew was that the Macau property is a high-rise urban resort in the city with modern living, unlike the other Banyan Tree resorts built with nature-filled living and relaxation. I expected to indulge and be pampered with service excellence – as I would in any other hotel of equal standing.
Seven best practices for service recovery
Each time a flight is cancelled, it’s an opportunity to irritate 300 captive customers–but it’s also a chance to turn them into understanding, passionate loyalists and recommenders.
A client recently asked: “When we make a mistake or fall short of a client expectation, how do we go beyond just fixing the problem and recover “the great customer experience” we worked so hard to create?”
This is an important question as clients and customers have a choice of products and services, and an ever increasing voice in the market of social opinions. A successful and creative recovery can be a unique pivot point in a customer relationship, actually building greater loyalty.
No one has a perfect record when it comes to delivering service. You will have unhappy customers, and you will receive complaints. With social networking, viral videos, and bad news traveling fast, one angry customer can leave a lasting stain on your reputation. Your recovery policy and practices should be ready.
1. Get senior management support. Unlike routine aspects of business, service recovery requires acknowledging mistakes and doing whatever it takes to recover. This often means going outside normal procedures, deliberately bending the rules, and possibly spending money in the process. Therefore, this building block needs understanding and encouragement from the top.
Occasionally, into each life, a little rain must fall… in this case, the “rain” is an unhappy customer; this isn’t an “if”, it is a when. When you are in business, and you deal with customers, be it internal customers (employees), external customers (paying customers and clients), or your service partners (distributors, vendors, etc) – eventually someone will feel unheard, uncared for, or mistreated. Should this unhappy customer ruin your day? Quite to the contrary… if this person takes the time, energy, and effort to speak up and air their grievances – you owe them a huge debt of gratitude.