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We can continuously learn but none of our efforts are perfect.

There is lots of data to suggest the power of service recovery. Here is an overview from the Temkin Group.

  • The power of service recovery. It’s undeniable that a good service recovery after a bad experience provides excellent results. When the service recovery is very poor, 63% of consumers cut back their spending while only 2% increased their spending. If the service recovery is very good, there’s a 10x improvement in consumers who increase their spending and more than a 39 %-point reduction in consumers who reduced their spending.
  • The limitation of service recovery. The advantages of service recovery really kick in when the company reaches at least a “4” on our 7-point scale of goodness. But it takes at least a “6” on the scale to have as many customers increasing their spending as decreasing their spending. That’s a pretty high hurdle.

So how do we know about recovery opportunities? After customers have a very bad or very good experience with a company, they are more likely to give feedback directly to the company than they are to post about it on Facebook, Twitter, or third party rating sites. Customers are also more likely to share positive feedback through online surveys and share negative feedback through emails. Compared to previous years, customers are more likely to share feedback over Facebook and Twitter, and these channels are most popular with consumers who are between 25- and 44-years-old.

Here is a model for recovery.

  • Communication (clearly communicate the process and set expectations)
  • Accountability (take responsibility for fixing the problem or getting an answer)
  • Responsiveness (don’t make the customer wait for your communication or a solution)
  • Empathy (acknowledge the impact that the situation has on the customer)
  • Solution (at the end of the day, make sure to solve the issue or answer the question)

“Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They do expect you to fix things when they go wrong.” – Donald Porter

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