This week on our Friends on Friday guest blog post, my colleague Emily Hunter writes about customer recovery and regaining your customer’s trust. Customer service is an area where trust is earned with consistency and, eventually, predictability. – Shep Hyken Customer recovery is the term we use when a business is trying to regain a […]
This week on our Friends on Friday guest blog post, my colleague Emily Hunter writes about customer recovery and regaining your customer’s trust. Customer service is an area where trust is earned with consistency and, eventually, predictability. – Shep Hyken
Customer recovery is the term we use when a business is trying to regain a customer that has stopped using their services. There are a variety of reasons a customer might want to stop patronizing your business, and many of them aren’t pleasant to think about. They may have received poor customer service, they may have been unsatisfied with the product, or maybe they just don’t feel they need your services anymore. Whatever the reason, this can be a tricky process to go through, and your options for customer recovery aren’t always apparent right away. So we’ve compiled some of the best ways for you to regain your customer’s trust, and get them back on your side.
If there was a failure on your part that caused your customer to stop doing business with you, you need to acknowledge that and put yourself in the place of the customer. It may have been a minor inconvenience for them, or it might have been a real hassle. Either way, it’s your job to let them know that you understand the shortcoming and that you are genuinely sorry for what happened. This is important because most people can spot an insincere apology from a mile away. The first step to making things right is the customer’s belief that you really are sorry for what happened—and not just the loss of the income they provided you with.
So you’ve apologized profusely, and the customer seemed willing to hear what you had to say. Now what? Well, if you’ve been given another chance, now’s the time to get it right. Obviously, you are striving to provide quality service to your customers every time, but this particular customer should be given a special place in your heart. By using call recording software over the phone or ‘tag teaming’ in person, you can make sure that all your employees are on the same page, and that they are focused on getting everything right for your customer the second time around. This is extremely important because while most people believe in second chances, very few will give a third.
You probably heard this one while you were growing up, but as corny as it sounds, it really does apply to almost everything. When you begin thinking about your options for customer recovery, you need to realize that you can’t begin by telling the customer what you think is “fair” given the gravity of the mistake. Sure, there may be a fair monetary price attached to your mistake, but that isn’t what this is about. Any concept of fairness went out the window a long time ago. Trying to placate a customer by offering them a “fair” compensation is likely to backfire. Your business messed up, so it’s your responsibility to go above and beyond if you want to keep this customer.
How you compensate your customer for their lost time or money is the key to winning them back in the long run. Yes, you’ve come through the second time around, but getting it right on the second try might not be enough to keep your customer. The question is, what extras are you going to offer them to keep them from jumping ship? This may depend on the level of the mistake your company made, as well as how loyal the customer is to your business. Sometimes it’s worth giving them a few extra bells and whistles in the short term for an investment in the long run. An easy way to find out what will make your customer happy is simply to ask. Let them know you want to give them something to make things right, and they will generally tell you know what they think is appropriate.
In a perfect world, there wouldn’t be a need for customer recovery. Your product would never break down, and your customer service would always be impeccable. Sadly, this isn’t the world we live in, and sometimes mistakes are going to be made. So why not put into place a plan for dealing with those times when things don’t go as planned, and you need to make it up to a customer or risk losing them forever? Realistically, this doesn’t have to be mapped out to every last detail. Simply think about how you would want to be treated if the roles were reversed and you were that disgruntled customer. Then make sure you have a plan ready to be implemented when something does happen.
Customer recovery isn’t an easy or pleasant process to go through. But it is important, and your business needs to be ready to deal with it when the time comes.
Emily Hunter crafts content on behalf of the call center solutions people at Kova Corp. In her spare time, she cheers for Spirit of Atlanta, Carolina Crown and Phantom Regiment, creates her own sodas, and crushes tower defense games. Follow her on Twitter at @Emily2Zen
For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com. Read Shep’s latest Forbes Article:
How To Create A Membership Model And Boost Your Business
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