Every organization screws up every week and probably every day. You have two choices. Focus on keeping the customer or let them defect.
It appears most large firms have unlimited marketing money so they believe that it really does not matter.
Frederick Reichheld at Harvard Business Review has research that shows if you can reduce your defection rate by half you can double the growth of your business. If you can reduce the defection rate by 5% you can have profit swings of 25-100%.
To say I am sorry is good customer service but it is NOT Service Recovery. When your company makes a mistake you have an opportunity to keep the customer or run for cover, lie or put the blame on someone else. Your flight is delayed 4 hours. The gate agent says, I am sorry. How do you feel? Are you satisfied? Your family was expecting you at 3 PM but know you will arrive at 7 PM.
In the US about 80% of employees lie and do anything possible to get rid of the customer. They know the customer will never remember who they talked to. They also avoid confrontation.
I can count on one hand all the times in my life I have heard an employee say, I am sorry. I made a mistake and it’s all my fault.
The 4 Service Recovery skills I teach are:
- Act Quickly
- The employees at the point of contact best implement service recovery.
- Avoid moving problems and complaints up the chain of command
- Take Responsibility
- Take responsibility no matter who is at fault. ( Not it must have been accounting that messed or must have been sales etc)
- Sincerely apologize
- Don’t place blame
- Thank the customer for pointing out the problem
DON’T make excuses or lie to cover a mistake
DON’T point out a customer’s misunderstanding
DON’T pass the blame off to another employee or the organization
- Be Empowered Make a fast decision in favor of the customer.
- Gives those who work with customers the authority to do whatever it takes to ensure customer loyalty.
- Empowerment is the backbone of service recovery
- Tells customers that you will put them first.
- Compensate Give the customer something of value.
- Every organization has something of value it can give to a customer who has experienced a problem.
- What does your organization manufacture, sell, or provide as a service that costs less than the value it has in the eyes of your customers?
Now the gate agent has been trained on Service Recovery and says, Mr. Cain, I apologize the flight has been delayed for 4 hours. Here is a coupon to access the business class lounge while you wait. There is food and drinks available for free in the lounge. In addition, I have added 15,000 miles to your account for your inconvenience. Now how do you feel?
This all has to happen in 60 seconds.7
My book Loyal for Life is only $14.95. If you want to train your staff on Service Recovery I have a 3-hour training program you can use which is only $999 for an Introductory Start-Up Special which has enough participant kits for 25 participants. On our website, you can view part of the video, leader guide, participant book, technique care and certificate.
On all of our products, we have the strongest Satisfaction Guarantee in the World. In the last 45 years, we have had two returns. One in 1981 for about $120 from a dentist and in 1990 from a car dealership for about $650. Our products work. They create magic with your workforce.
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