Organizations today are faced with a challenge of how they could match what the competition is offering, how they could manage the expectations of what they communicate to their customers and how they enable, empower and motivate their employees to make sound decisions and deliver a consistent and uplifting service experience.They key ingredient is the Promise.
Organizations should watch what they say when they make the promise to attract potential or existing customers through their marketing campaigns.
Organizations should watch what they do when they enable the promises through clearly defined and well administered guidelines, policies and procedures so that the service providers are well equipped and empowered.
Service providers should watch what they do so that they are able to keep the promises through the interaction with the customers.
The Promise is the constant with these concerns and it would be the seed and key ingredient in service. In short, Organizations and service providers have to watch what they promise or they have deal with service recovery.
Experts say that getting a new customer is five times more costly compared to maintaining an existing customer. The main reason is that they know and they trust you.They know your products and services.They trust and value the relationship they have with you through their actions of buy-ins and transactions.Therefore if the promise is compromised, organizations have to work harder to recover the service.
Service recovery is a positive approach to complaint handling.The heart of the service recovery framework will be identifying and addressing the problem or concern early, crafting out a suitable solution or alternative recommendation empathetically and taking the necessary action measures promptly.
In this article, let us focus on the problem. What can we do to identify and address the problem or concern early. There are six main areas to consider and uncover.
Procedures or technology would be another primary area. This would be the step by step approach of how the service provider executes the service delivery. Do service providers have a standardized flow of what to do when they encounter a customer at anytime? Do they have a checklist to ensure consistency?
Reactive investigation would be the next area to consider. This would be looking at all the comments and compliments to implement as best practices and identifying service role models and the complaints for further improving your current service process or systems. By feedback, they don’t have to wait for an email or a complaint letter. Service providers must be more vigilant of evidence of body language expressions or behaviors of every service encounter whether is it personally manned by you or delivered by a fellow worker.
Proactive investigation would be another area to find out the concerns of the customers. This could be done through questionnaires, face-to-face interviews or focused group discussions. Organizations should take the first step of finding out potential hazards through well crafted specific questions eliciting vital information that address the issue.Some of these questions could even be how often do you face a delay when you contact your customer service hotline? How long do you have to wait until you get a response from the service provider?
Policies and Guidelines would be the primary area of focus.Organizations must acknowledge and understand what they pen down as their marketing promises? What they inscribe as their terms and conditions? Are the terms and conditions well conveyed to the customers?How do they enable and empower their service providers to make service experience decisions?
Past service recovery experiences would map out the existing concerns.The information from these approaches would certainly be useful case studies to consider during training and organization’s continuous improvement. Furnish with sufficient details would enable organizations to modify their processes to smoothen the overall service experience.How staff have handled similar service encounters
These areas that we just uncover and surfaced could ignite a potential study of the customer’s concern. Through this exercise organizations could possible manage their customers expectations , reduce the hassle cost of service recovery of discounts or incentives and enable their service providers so that they keep the promise to the customers.