Fix your 4 customer-service-when-things-go-wrong issues

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It doesn’t matter how good your product or service is. At some point, things will go wrong. But that is not a problem. We all know nothing is infallible.

The problem lies in the way you respond to that situation, the effort you put into it, how you resolve it, as well as the way you treat customers in that process.

The typical and most frustrating response customers get has four main issues:

  1. reactive – problems come as a surprise
  2. insincere – apologies are not heartfelt
  3. disclaim – it’s never anyone’s fault
  4. giveaway – freebies to shut customer up

The above shows that your company lacks professionalism, empathy, accountability and customer-centricity. This hurts customer’s trust and loyalty, impacting your bottom line.

To fix issue number 1, you need to become Proactive. This doesn’t mean that you must know every single issue that could crop-up. But you must be Vigilant and Action as soon as you notice something could go wrong. I would encourage you to think about James Dodkins PXR (Proactive Experience Recovery) framework.

PXR is the practice of fixing a problem during the crisis or before it happens (…) four-step framework is: identify, monitor, communicate, compensate (…) Identify the problem, monitor the problem during the experience, communicate to the customers that you know something is wrong even if they aren’t aware, and compensate for errors

James Dodkins on Kustomer Podcast 9 Jul 2020 (link here)

To fix issue number 2, you should make sure that your staff shows Empathy towards the customer, and offers Earnest apologies. Following up by fixing the issue, ensuring that it was an one-time-only apology! In a recent chat on Twitter (ICMI chat) Stephanie Thum put it very well.

Apologies mean little, really, when they’re consistently the “go-to” for fixing the systemic problems customers face. Fix the systemic problems! That is the best compensation.

Stephanie Thum on Twitter 25 Aug 2020 (link here)

To fix issue number 3, you need to ensure your organisation has a customer-focused culture that puts emphasis on Accountability, where employees feel Empowered to resolve customer issues, and are rewarded for fixing or actioning, rather than deflecting. Supported by Technology that is easy-to-use and flexible enough to make staff efficient, and problem-solving effective.

To fix number 4, focus on Resolution rather than hesitation, idleness, lethargy. As Stephanie Thum said, fixing the problem “is the best compensation”. Customers are not looking for freebies, but for an easy and effortless experience. And if you feel you want to make up for your mistake, make sure it is seen as a gesture of Goodwill.

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