Recently, I blogged about the gripes people have when it comes to poor service: bad attitude, lack of product knowledge, long wait times… and the list goes on. A good solution to making sure outstanding service is performed consistently is training employees to deliver on customer value.
Yet, it’s still smart to accept and plan for the fact that humans, machines, or processes are not 100% effective all the time. Mistakes will happen with customers. Good service leaders understand the importance of having employees skilled and able to effectively recover from a mistake, leaving the customer feeling satisfied and valued.
In cases of a service breakdown, service providers can leave a positive impression by:
- Making an appropriate gesture of goodwill and making up for the mistake and the inconvenience it caused the customer.
- Keeping promises. When a service breakdown occurs, from the customer’s point of view, a
promise has already been broken. At this point, it is critical to do whatever else is promised to improve the situation.
- Focus on the human side. While addressing the business side of the mistake is important, showing compassion towards the customer about the impacts of the mistake demonstrates a genuine effort to make things right.
- Following up with the customer after all is said and done. This helps assure the customer the apology and actions are sincere and that the service provider is concerned about customer satisfaction. Follow-up also demonstrates commitment to the customer relationship.
Conventional wisdom says first impressions are the ones that count, yet behavioral science research tells us the real truth: final impressions are more important.
Last week, AchieveGlobal’s Director of Retail and Hospitality Markets, K.C. Blonski, was featured in a Fast Company 30 Second MBA video on how to handle mistakes. Play the video below to hear his advice:
Sharon Daniels is CEO of AchieveGlobal in Tampa, Florida