If “Service Recovery” means that we need to “save” situations where the customer is upset, irate, or complaining, then there are right ways and wrong ways to do it. While there is no one rule to deal with Service Recovery situations, many times employees can think that they are doing things the right way, and in fact there are small errors that are causing the recovery to be unsuccessful.
Think of the following actions during Service Recovery and the issues with each:
- The employee responds to an e-mail from an irate customer by sending an e-mail back. Whereas this may be very effective at times, particularly when the customer prefers e-mail communications, in a Service Recovery situation you want to talk to someone 2-way, on the phone or face-to-face. Because that ability to see the body language and to hear the tone of voice enables you to deal with the emotion of the situation better. Remember that e-mail does not convey emotion well.
- The employee responds to the customer that if they have a concern, then the customer is welcome to call back. While this may seem like a positive offer, in effect what the employee’s doing is dumping the responsibility for follow-up back on the customer. Particularly in Service Recovery situations, the employee needs to take ownership over the follow-up, to convey that they care and ensure that the follow-up happens.
- The employee hears the complaint and gives the appropriate solution, and yet the customer is still upset. This typically happens when the employee is providing an effective solution, but they are ignoring the emotional aspect of the conversation. Most customers want to be understood and to feel like they are cared for at least as much as they are having their question answered during a Service Recovery situation. Employees need to make sure they’re not so focused on the issue and the solution that they totally ignore the emotion that comes with the issue.
When determining the best way to deal with Service Recovery situations, look at the little things that employees can do wrong to determine how to tweak the technique to make sure everything turns out right.
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