Customers appreciate brands who go above and beyond to provide them with the best service experience — especially when things don't go as planned.
That’s why it’s important to have a customer service recovery plan in place.
A customer service recovery plan contains a list of actions for specific service disruptions. This helps companies retain customer trust and improve current service systems. To get started, think of potential incidents or disruptions your brand is likely to experience and provide each a systematic solution.
One perfect example of this is when Singtel, one of Singapore’s biggest telcos, had a nationwide fibre broadband outage over the weekend. Their customers were beyond furious. But they still managed to bounce back by providing regular updates and discounts on their customers’ bills.
Service breakdowns can happen at any time. However, your customer service team can use this opportunity to provide better solutions and create more loyal customers amidst any breakdowns.
Don’t get too overwhelmed in solving your customers’ problems. Make sure you listen first and clarify the exact issue that they expect to be resolved. Ask probing questions, allowing customers to explain and analyse what are the best possible solutions.
Doing this also improves customer impression seeing how sincere and genuine you are in handling the problem.
That’s why you should have a proper complaint process. This includes hiring the best communicators who can respond to any issue in a calm and convincing manner.
Even when it's not the company's fault, it's best to apologise for the nuisance the customer is experiencing. Apologising can slowly subdue a negative situation into a positive one.
However, avoid using templated apologies such as "I'm sorry for the inconvenience" or "I'm sorry about that." Instead, encourage staff to provide context and be personal with their apologies. This will let customers feel valued. You can use phrases like:
After apologising, proceed to the most crucial step in service recovery: fixing the problem.
If you already know the root cause of the problem and have an existing solution for it in your recovery plan, resolve it as quickly as possible. If not, raise the problem to the team and brainstorm potential solutions to fix it. While doing this, make sure you update the customer regularly, especially if the resolution process requires more time.
Truth is, you can’t satisfy every customer.
Regain control by offering an alternative solution. Going back to Singtel’s case, they pacified angry customers by offering discounts and waivers on mobile data charges
Rather than telling their customers there’s nothing much they can do, they came up with other possible options while fixing the problem.
After solving the issue, check back with your customer and ask if everything at their end is in order. And don’t forget to ask for their feedback. Lastly, document the issue. This helps you identify patterns and opportunities for improvement. Log the time, date, parties involved, and detailed complaint. You can use it later on to set objectives for the company.
A good customer recovery plan is essential to any business. It's shows customers your commitment to giving the best service and that you value their satisfaction the most. It’s also a reminder that you can always bounce back from a breakdown, using it to improve your service – and your business in general.
Get started with these five steps to plan an effective customer service recovery plan for your business. Make sure to back it up with the best cloud computing tools and resources.