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November Service Recovery

Every organization makes mistakes. Things go wrong every day regardless of how good or committed you are. Service Recovery is how you salvage a problem when you are at fault or when you are perceived to be at fault and make the customer fall in love with you.

To just say I am sorry is good customer service but it is not service recovery. There is huge competition you have to contend with and poor service recovery leads to negative reviews on social media.

Service recovery is focusing on creating an experience so remarkable the customer falls more in love with you and tells hundreds of their friends. There are 4 critical steps:

1. Act Quickly   All this must happen in 60 seconds by the employee who encounters the problem. Do not move it up the chain of command.
2. Take Responsibility  Just saying we messed up or it’s our fault is not hard to do. Too many people are more worried about saving face or their ego.
3. Be Empowered  This means you have to make a fast decision to solve the problem. NO asking for approval. NO talking to your manager or her/his manager.
4. Compensate  Every organization has items or services of high value and low cost. Be generous. If you are cheap it has NO impact.

All employees need to be trained on Service Recovery. There is no way anyone will know this on their own. All training has to do 3 things.
1. Change attitudes and behaviors. If you cannot do this all the money and time you spend is wasted.
2. Teach the skills and art of Service Recovery if you want the customer to be loyal for life.
3. Build employee morale and teamwork. Employees that love their job are more productive.
Many companies have a lot of BS (Bull Sh-t) They make all these promises and then fail to deliver. It effects your brand.

As I write this I am in Moscow leaving for Chelyabinsk Russia in a few hours. I wanted to stay at the airport coming in and leaving so I selected the Park Inn owned by the Radisson Hotel chain. The hotel room has no English TV. They have Russian, Arabic, Hungarian, Chinese and Spanish but NO English.
(Maybe I am the first American to stay at this huge hotel). When I went to the front desk this morning the employee was not willing to do anything except say I am sorry. I asked twice to speak to the manager. She offered me a free upgrade in my room in two days when I return or a free breakfast.  Wow. Cheap. I suggested a free night. She continued to offer either a free breakfast which turned out to be so so or an upgrade.  She finally relented and gave me both. Very begrudgingly. They were too cheap. What they gave away had no impact or value. When I returned there was no upgrade and the TV had NO English news.

In early 1980 the Radisson Hotel used my Feelings program. Then they created their own program “Yes I Can! ” Experience our positive and pro-active service philosophy, “Yes I Can” guides us
to meet any challenge and identify an opportunity to deliver great service for every guest”   Sounds nice but it does not happen. Frankly, it is a myth. Can you imagine a billion-dollar business having the same ad for 30 years. Stupid and boring. The problem is most employees are not trained in customer service. The training material typically is boring. Firms today love online learning which provides more intellectual information.  NO behavior or attitude change. Results do not seem to have a high priority.

I have a book called Loyal for Life you might want to read to learn more about Service Recovery with a hard copy or electronic copy. The book is $14.95 or $9.99 for the electronic copy.

If you want to train your staff we have a training program you can easily facilitate onsite for all your employees. We have a special Introductory price for $999 with enough materials to train 25 employees.

As I travel the world teaching the benefits of having staff trained on Service Recovery I find it difficult to believe that more organizations just believe in one shot training and do not offer updates/refresher courses/new employee training. It should be mandatory. Every organization needs to master Service Recovery. I estimate in the U.S. less than 1% of companies understand and use service recovery. That’s a shame as they could add a considerable amount to their bottom line by simply focusing on Service Recovery.