Drug testing

Profit from a Customer Service Recovery Program

A client recently said to me: "Most days things seem to run smoothly; but whenever we have a customer complaint, we seem to collapse. Where are we going wrong?"

How you handle and solve customer concerns and complaints is a measure of your standing in the "excellent", "bad", or "mediocre" category of customer service. Many companies fit into the "mediocre" (average) category where indifference and defensiveness best describe their operation.

Are you sure this is not you?

Recently I returned from a business trip and was not pleased to find that two books I'd ordered three weeks before had not yet arrived, despite a promise from the book vendor that they would be delivered in five days. I was naturally upset and called the book vendor's long-distance number.

While I firmly told the lady who answered the phone how unhappy I was about their failure to deliver, and how this had greatly inconvenienced my schedule, she interrupted me right in the middle with: "Just a minute sir,you'll have to talk to customer service"

I said: "I'm sorry I thought you worked there'

She said: "I do"

I said: "Oh, I see, but you're not in customer service?'

She said: "That's right" (How interesting!)

I said: "Well, I guess you'd better put me through to customer service then"

She said: "They've gone for the day" I heard indifference in her voice.

Not wishing to deny her the opportunity to take charge of the situation, I said: "What should I do?"

She said: "You'll have to call back tomorrow" (Isn't that special!)

No customer service recovery here. Only indifference and buck-passing - the symptoms of a mediocre business that tolerates less than outstanding customer service. Do you think I still do business with those people? Certainly not. Not when their competitors are just dying to steal me away! Not when I have many other options!

Contrast that mediocre service with the response from my Internet service provider, Netvision, in Wichita, Kansas. Some time ago, during their changeover of equipment, I was unable to access the Internet or my e-mail at the weekend for over an hour, which was unusual.

When I eventually called the office on Monday to complain, the lady in charge, Melody, was most apologetic, explained about the equipment change, told me what she was going to do, got back to me in fifteen minutes (as she promised) with an update, and when all was fixed, she gave me her home number in case this ever happened at the week-end again. Wow!

And the piece de resistance - on my next bill the monthly charge was waived!

So, what was the difference here? The first company didn't have a customer service recovery program or policy, even though they probably think they have - and their brochures and publicity tell us they're the best! The second company, Netvision, walked the talk, knew why they were in business, knew that the customer has many choices, and they had a system for customer service recovery.

How can you profit from a customer service recovery program?

? Make a list of things that could, and do, go wrong; show how they should be handled, and how to prevent them from recurring.

? Give your people the tools to do the job ?training, authority to take a decision, adequate equipment and materials, and information.

? At staff meetings, get employees' input on what improvements you could make to procedures that affect their ability to perform.

? Show appreciation and acknowledgment of the efforts and commitment of your people, especially when they handle difficult situations.

? Call some of your customers who've had a problem and ask them how your company scored in service recovery!

John Madden is an international speaker, trainer, and author of "Leap, Don't Sleep" (How to get different results by doing something different). He specializes in customer service, coaching skills for managers, stress management through humor, creative problem solving, and interpersonal skills. You can reach him at 1-800-689-6932 or 316-689-6932; email at john@LeapDontSleep.com; web site: http://www.LeapDontSleep.com

limousine chicago service
In The News:

How To Kick Your Customer Service Up A Notch!

Welcome to the inaugural issue of Human Tech Tips --... Read More

Leverage Customer Capital First

If you're still dreaming about raising outside capital for your... Read More

Renewing Customer Loyalty

Every business loses customers, but not many do much about... Read More

How To Handle Customer Billing Snafus

Q: I just discovered that for the past six months... Read More

Under Promise & Over Perform: The Art of Managing Customer Expectations

I'll always feel warmly about Conrad's restaurant, in Glendale, California.On... Read More

Difficult Customers - Theres No Such Thing

A couple of years ago I had a call from... Read More

How to Keep Customers

Who was it that said - "The customer is always... Read More

4 Easy Steps to Better Online Customer Support

Customer support is very important when you're running a business,... Read More

A White Paper: Profiting with Kindness

In 2002, there wasn't much interest for Kindness in business,... Read More

Putting The Service Back In Customer Service

The future of customer service is here. Technology has made... Read More

Over Deliver - The Key to Customer Satisfaction

Client satisfaction starts with meeting or beating the contractual obligations... Read More

7 Bits Of Critical Information You Cant Afford NOT To Know About Your Customers

If you think customer relationship management is just a piece... Read More

Top Ten Strategies for Delivering 5-Star Customer Service

Customer satisfaction is valuable, but customer loyalty is priceless. In... Read More

Learning from Your Employees and Customers Complaints

Listening to complaints, whether they're reasonable or not, is a... Read More

Treating the Customer Dissatisfaction Epidemic: How to Go Beyond Simply Masking the Symptoms

Corporations in every sector are spending more than ever before... Read More

Dont Forget your Existing Clients

Quest for new clients shouldn't ignore those who pay the... Read More

Communicating for Profit and Customer Satisfaction

The President of a 200+ store division of a major... Read More

Accountability

The Call Center world is an intense pressure-driven environment continually... Read More

Finding Out Why a Potential Customer is Calling On You

Our challenge as the business owner/sales person answering the telephone,... Read More

To Complain and Win! - My Personal Recipe

Prime directive: Make sure your claim is reasonable! Otherwise, forget... Read More

How To Build a Profitable Business

It's never too soon to start saying thanks to your... Read More

What Type Of Software Is This?

The other day while at the book store, I came... Read More

Committed To Your Customer? Prove It When They Complain!

Businesses like to brag in their advertising about quality of... Read More

Why You Should Always Honour Your Guarantees - Even When The Customer Is In The Wrong

The Reason Why Direct Internet Marketers Have To Work So... Read More

Who Says the Customer is Always Right?

We all know the old adage, "The Customer is Always... Read More

street light lamps street light photocell Pete's produce ..