- An occasion - after it's missed
- A word - after it's said
- Time - after it's gone
- Trust - after it’s lost
These truisms apply so well to customer service recovery. How an organization handles service problems (the occasion); in what time frame; and with what words and actions will have a significant impact on trust and future business opportunities.
Let me use a current illustration. One of your adult children and his family just completed a local move to a larger house. The full-service mover - whose stated goal is ‘To Be Customer Valuable’ for every residential move – stumbled, fumbled, and bumbled through the entire process. Here are a few of their many missed recovery opportunities.
- Silence is deadly. The moving company was scheduled to arrive at 8 a.m. at the ‘old house’ in order complete the move before the new buyers arrived at 11 a.m. NO communication initiated to customer about delays. Movers arrived at 11:45 a.m. New owners had arrived and were trying to move in around the late movers.
- 1-Way communication. In total, nearly a dozen calls were made to the salesperson and operations manager. ALL were made by the customer. Most resulted in leaving voice messages and waiting for a delayed response.
- Act – don’t just accept blame. Front line staff apologized for being late and then described in detail the staffing problems that created the situation. They worked hard to complete task but skipped a major service feature – protection pads on doors and carpet covering at both old and new residence.
- Stop defending. The Operations Manager defended the bill because he sent extra staff. There was no acknowledgement of broken commitments, incomplete services, or inconvenience and stress for customer. Final resolution was a voice message saying they would reduce the bill and send a receipt.
- Broken feedback loop. There has been no follow-up since the transaction was completed. Nothing to indicate we value you and your business. My son’s reaction, “Just trying to forget about us and our experience. No desire to learn from their mistakes.”
Let’s review some major customer service research findings:
- 95% of dissatisfied customers will continue to do business with a company if they resolve a problem quickly and satisfactorily
- 4 out of 5 consumers who read a negative online review reversed their buying decision. And, 92% of consumers believe suggestions from friends and family more than they do advertising (power of word of mouth).
- More than 80% of customers stop doing business with a company because they are dissatisfied by the service they receive
- When a business adds a sincere apology on top of the compensation (refund, credit, etc.) satisfaction doubles
- 80% of companies believed they provide a superior customer service experience, while only 8% of their customers agree
Does your organization treat customer service errors and mistakes as opportunities or outcomes? Effective interaction can create great customer service and recovery! It’s simple – but not easy!
Would love to hear about a great or disappointing customer service recovery experience you have had.