Mapping Your Service Recovery Process

Mapping Your Service Recovery Process 

Most customers do not say anything when they are dissatisfied.

26 out of 27 customers who experience poor service from an organization do not complain to someone who can do anything about the complaint
23% of those who do not complain will have a serious claim, and they still don’t say anything! They feel that complaining will only be a source of annoyance and a waste of time 
Source: TARP (Technical Assistance Research Programs)

Customer expectations are higher, and they will switch when these expectations are not met.

86% of consumers expect better service than they did five years ago 82% said they would change supplier if not satisfied 97% of multiple switchers cite poor customer service as a key motivator for switching 35% said a simple apology would have prevented them moving to the competition customers who switch tend to be those who are the most profitable to do business with (Source: Ventura Marketing).

The deck is stacked against businesses trying to satisfy their customers. Customers expect satisfactory service. As a result, anything that looks like poor service stands out. Because it stands out, it is more likely to be remembered and weighed more heavily compared to everything that went right.

Ten transactions can go right, but that one mistake is what grabs consumer attention. This reality demands that we focus on how to handle unhappy customers and pay attention to we can learn from customers who are dissatisfied.

The simplest and most efficient way to increase bottom-line figures is to increase customer retention rates. Moreover, one of the strongest opportunities to reinforce brand values and create customer loyalty is during Service Recovery situations.

Fixing customer complaints is a robust approach to strengthening and differentiating a brand. Service Recovery deals with the handling of customer dissatisfaction, requests for refunds, and complaints about any customer problems. Creating a well-designed service recovery strategy can help focus the organization on its customer base.

Unfortunately, most customers just do not speak up when they are dissatisfied or face difficulties. That is, most of them do not say anything to an organization in a way that the body can use or respond to that information in any meaningful way.

At the same time, it is the direct human-to-human interaction that impacts most customers’ perceptions of an organization. Moreover, it is when a customer has a problem that they are most likely to have this direct human contact.

A Customer-Centric Strategy should ultimately deliver the highest level of customer value, which in turn will help create genuinely loyal customers. In turn, a customer-centric approach should help to create competitive differentiation and long-term growth for an organization.

When you create a good map of Service Recovery Process, your organization:

  • Will possess more realistic and usable customer feedback metrics
  • Can align its business structure so it is more customer centric
  • Will appropriately empower customer-facing staff to respond and recover from customers, so customers are more likely to remain loyal when things go wrong
  • Will work with clients as partners by integrating their feedback into your  business processes

As TMI Turkey, we know Customer centricity requires close collaboration with clients, listening to them and responding to them. Moreover, the good news is that we have a genuine 5 Step Service Recovery Model to create a customer-centric attitude within an organization is to have everyone be more sensitive to customer feedback.

1. Design

Developing your organization-wide approach to service recovery requires answering specific questions that will no doubt influence your entire organization in areas that extend beyond the boundaries of service recovery. By paying attention to that critical point in the customer service process when things go wrong, you will no doubt start focusing more completely on your customers. In this regard, your business will automatically become more customer centric.

Designing a complete approach to service recovery will also enable you to listen more thoroughly to your customers who will tell you about flaws in your business that you otherwise may never know. Ultimately a well-designed service recovery process will enable you to retain more of your customers, thereby protecting the investment of time and resources you made to get those customers in the first place.

2. Measure

To adequately determine how well your service recovery process is working, you must have robust measurements in place. Many organizations collect a variety of steps that are summarized in reports, passed on to the CEO or Board of Directors, and then never looked at again. Robust metrics must include information that is usable for everyone inside the organization.

When you first begin it is important to establish baselines. In this way, all employees can monitor the success their contribution is having on significant numbers. For this reason, it is a good idea to involve staff in determining the metrics they can best use and against which they want to be measured themselves. If you have designed your process well, your metrics should not change every time some small change is introduced.

3. Align

Many organizations want to recover better from customers when they face problems or disappointments. Unfortunately, many think that having staff who are more courteous and speedy when responding to customer complaints will solve the problem. Customer-facing staff work in an organizational culture that affects their mood and their ability actually to serve their customers.

Critical questions dealing with return policies, refunds, and guarantees must be in alignment with how far an organization wants to go with its customers when they face problems or disappointments. It is easy to say that you will stand with your customers, but when they stand in front of you with a complaint, the customer may rapidly discover there are enormous restrictions on this stated position.

4. Respond and Recover

It is at the critical point of complaint handling that both customers and customer-facing staff learn how important an organization is about retaining them as customers. Organization that tightly script their staff in what they should say and how they should behave towards complaining customers have a long way to go in understanding the complexity of complaint handling.

For all these reasons, it is important that all staff, but the particularly customer-facing staff, are educated in the psychology of complaint handling. They need to be empowered to take fair and reasonable positions on behalf of their customers. Moreover, they need to be supported in such a way that they are willing to take responsibility for caring for customers when face problems, are disappointed or don’t get what they want.

5. Integrate

Once you have made a decision to listen more carefully to your customers, you still have to determine how to integrate this information into the inner workings of your organization. Many organizations gather data and particular pieces of information and knowledge that they never share with a small team or department. On other occasions, it never moves past the customer-facing staff who heard the initial complaint.

Part of integrating customer feedback into your organization requires a system for sharing knowledge across the entire company. If this last step is not carefully tended, it is possible that no real change will take place. The opportunity for improved quality, more realistic marketing, and cross-departmental integration is real when the voice of the customer is brought into the organization and given a platform so everyone can hear it.