Have you ever…. b Gone into a store that had advertised a “special” only to find that every item that was advertised is out of stock? b What did you think? b Remember, “Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They do expect you to fix things when they go wrong.” --Donald Porter, British Airways
The Art of Service Recovery b It is the customer’s perspective that is important here. “Problems exist when individual customers say they do…”. b You must be thoughtful, sensitive, and caring. You must make it right.
The Recovery Process b Once you have identified the problem (through active listening), it’s time to begin winning back your customer’s loyalty. b Make sure that you customize your actions. Remember that each customer wants to be treated like an individual.
b Apologize - it doesn’t matter who’s wrong. Acknowledge that the problem occurred and show concern. b Listen and Empathize - Show that you care about them, as well as their problem. Personalize it. b Fix the Problem Quickly and Fairly - Deliver your fix professionally. Your customer must perceive fairness.
b Offer Atonement - Provide some value-added gesture that says, “I know that we disappointed you, but I want to make it up to you.” b Keep your Promises - Chances are, you are dealing with this customer because promises were broken. As new promises are made, be realistic about what you can and can’t deliver, and keep the new promises you make.
b Follow Up - Make sure you follow up to make sure that your fix worked. Don’t assume. Make sure. b “Take immediate steps to solve problems. The sense of urgency you bring to problem solving tells your customers that recovery is every bit as important to you as the initial sale.”
Asking for Trouble b Do your best to make sure things don’t go wrong but, b when they do…. b Handle the problem correctly and effectively. b Don’t ignore the problem. It won’t go away. It will only grow.
Why is it so difficult to say those words? b We may be intimidated by the words. b We may think that we’re saying we’re a rotten person, or a failure, or stupid, or… b We may think (in the nether reaches of our gray matter), that it was actually the stupid customer that was wrong and it should be that stupid customer that apologizes, not us.
Does “I’m Sorry” mean that I’m in Legal Jeopardy? b Unfortunately, some people might think so. Make sure you understand the legal and/or regulatory aspects of your job, if applicable, and how they impact what you say and do. b Often, however, a sincere apology may help head off potential legal problems.
Also understand... b That this is no time to try to prove that you were right and your customer was stupid. b It doesn’t matter who was at fault, it is your job to make it right.
Neither is this the time…. b To pass the buck. b To blame someone else. b To divert your customer’s attention. b Remember, to the customer, YOU are the company.
Do it Right. b Effective apologies are: Sincere Personal Timely
bTbThese customers try to get under your skin. They want you to lose control. bWbWhat do you do? Develop perspective You are a pro. Master the art of calm.
Ways to approach the obnoxious customer b See no evil, hear no evil. “If you start thinking of customers as jerks and idiots, before you know it, you’ll start treating them as badly as they treat you. Worse yet, you will start to treat the innocent like the guilty.”
bSbSurface the tension “Please give me a chance.” Redirect their emotions. bTbTransfer Transformation When a customer gets really nasty… –t–transfer them to someone else.
bBbBuild Contractual Trust Make sure that the customer who desires to try their “macho,” “do it my way and do it now before I get physical,” crap on you, understands that you will not hesitate to call the authorities.
Master the Art of Calm b Breathe b Smile b Laugh b Let it Out b Take a one-minute vacation b Relax b Do desk aerobics b Organize b Positive Talk b Take a health break.
Keep It Professional b “Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.” b Your customers come to you, not for friendship, but for your service. Be professional. Be careful when dealing with your friends.
b“b“Draw a clear line between who you are and what you do -- who you are goes home with you at the end of the day; what you do stays at work.”
The Competence Principle: Always Be Learning b Technical/Systems Skills b Interpersonal Skills b Product and Service Knowledge b Customer Knowledge b Personal Skills b Put Yourself In Training
Celebrate b Take yourself out to lunch. b Take a coworker out to lunch. b Buy balloons or flowers or something fun. b Make a “brag sheet.” b Tell yourself, “You done good.” (Please pardon the expression.)
Next week….we’ll be back again. Drive carefully and take care of yourselves.