When I partner with a company that wants to build loyal relationships with their customers, I absolutely insist that they predetermine recovery strategies for top complaints. This single exercise positions frontline professionals to quickly determine recovery strategies that protect a company’s best customers from defection and strengthen loyalty after a service mishap.
Taken straight from our consulting playbook, here are 5 things I ask my clients to consider when generating solutions for all top problems:
Sometimes the best resolution for the customer is for the company to replace the product. Clearly stating when this is most appropriate will help you offer quick and consistent resolutions.
What I mean here is “make it a double for their trouble.” Let’s say you buy a new vacuum cleaner, get it home put it together, turn it on and it doesn’t work. You gather up the vacuum cleaner, the manual and your receipt, go back to Big Jakes and wait in line for 13 minutes to return it. When Little Jake exchanges it for a new vacuum cleaner, are you satisfied? Sure, you’re happy that the exchange was made, but you were inconvenienced big time. You had to take time out of your busy schedule to fight traffic, find a parking space and wait in line. And now you have to put another vacuum cleaner together. A good recovery would add something to the exchange to account for the “hassle factor”. Little Jake could say, “Ms. Smith, I’m going to give you a free package of vacuum cleaner bags as a concrete apology for the trouble you’ve experienced.”
Determine situations when you want to offer Replacement “plus.”
There will be times when it’s more appropriate, even advisable, to return the customer’s money instead of replacing the product. Can you decide now when it will be appropriate to refund the money? Or, do you want your employees to make this call?
There will be times when no compensation is warranted. Determining this ahead of time positions staff to respond with greater confidence and keeps them from giving the store away.
This might include a follow-up call or note to the customer.
Proactively generating best-fit solutions for your top problems positions frontline staff to respond to complaints with confidence and consistency and helps ensure decisions are made that balance both the interests of the customer and the company. If you’d like to learn more about positioning your employees to make recovery decisions that protect both loyalty and profits, consider partnering with me for consulting, training or an unforgettable keynote. Learn more at MyraGolden.com.
Myra Golden helps companies completely restore customer confidence in their brands after service failures. Considered one of the leading experts in customer recovery, she has helped hundreds of organizations rethink and redesign their complaint response processes so they are positioned to retain more customers, improve customer satisfaction, and increase profits. Myra has designed customer recovery programs for such companies as Verizon Business, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, National Car Rental, Michelin Tires and Frito Lay. She is co-author of Beyond WOW! The Service Leadership Approach to Exceptional Customer Service.