I have a pretty good idea of where you’re dropping the ball in your customer service delivery.
It’s easy for your employee to promise something to a customer– and then send the customer elsewhere within your organization for actual results.
Fair enough: but did the details of the customer’s needs actually get fully conveyed to the person who was handed the ball?
And, did the handoffee follow through on these instructions? Or did she hand off the responsibility again? And, if so, was the customer support fumbled on that handoff?
Follow-through and follow up are keys to a successful customer experience. And often best accomplished by the person who first took the request.
Here are my four steps to customer service recovery. And note how follow-up is baked into the sequence.
1. Apologize. Drag out this apology until the customer is ready to move on to step 2. I know apologies are uncomfortable, but they’re necessary.
2. Review the complaint with your customer.
3. Fix the problem and follow up (yes, I mean you–the person who took the complaint–follow up): Either fix the problem right away or follow up right away to check on the customer and explain the progress you have made. Follow up after fixing things as well, to show continuing concern and appreciation.
4. Document the problem in detail to allow you to permanently fix the defect by identifying trends.
This pattern, which doesn’t spell any cute acronym [I tried], nonetheless works. Try it.
Micah Solomon, Contributor
I write about customer service, customer experience, and hospitality.