Service Recovery Strategies
Service Recovery Strategies
Encourage and track complaints
Develop the mindset that complaints are good, and that they can help the company to improve upon there service and create a relationship with their consumers
Make complaining easy, highlight how and where people can go to make complaints, and ensure it is a smooth and relaxed process, and that it's not a bad thing - encourage it.
Be an active listener, train employees to listen to customers and respond to body language and tone of voice, because they may not actively voice how they are feeling
Ask customers about specific service issues, a simple and informal way to find out about service failure is just asking.
Conduct short surveys, e.g. follow up telephone call to identify any problems
Doing it right the first time
Do this, and then service recovery is unnecessary, customers get what they want and costs are reduced.
Total Quality Management (TQM) practices aimed at "zero defects" are put in place to ensure reliability, but this can be difficult in service contexts
Poka yokes - automatic warnings or controls to ensure mistakes are not made (quality control mechanisms) e.g. in a hospital setting these ensure procedures are followed to avoid potentially life-threatening mistakes, such as trays for surgical instruments with indentations for specific ones.
Poka yokes can also be used to ensure tangibles associated with service are clean, and that documents are up to date. Can be implemented for employee behaviour (checklists, role playing and practice)
Take care of problems on the front line, get the problem solved quickly and efficiently
Empower employees - train them to be able to smoothly handle any problems as they occur. Sometimes employees can even anticipate problems and solve them before they escalate
Allow customers to solve their own problems, by building systems that directly interface with the company's technology to perform their own customer service.
Provide adequate explanations
Customers try to see and understand where things went wrong
When an adequate explanation is given, dissatisfaction can be reduced
Learn from recovery experiences
Service recovery is also a valuable source of diagnostic, prescriptive information improving customer service.
Tracking service recovery efforts and solutions enables managers to learn about systematic problems in the delivery system that need fixing
Learn from lost customers
Discovering the reasons why customers left can assist in preventing failures in the future
Can be difficult for companies, because nobody likes examining their failures, but it can prove to be a very successful method of improvement
Act quickly before being forced to through legislation
If an organisation is not seen to be responding to complaints of customers, national or European gov bodies can step in and impose regulations and legislation to protect the customers
E.g. legislation in the airline industry to protect air passengers with regards to cancellations
Treat customers fairly
Expect to be treated fairly in the outcome they receive, the process of service recovery, interpersonal treatment they receive.
Cultivate relationships with customers
Strong customer-firm relationships can help shield the firm from negative effects of failures