Turn Customer Set-Backs into Opportunity

In a picture-perfect world, we’d always be on top of our game. But if anything, human nature has taught us we’re not perfect.  We have obstacles—some may or may not be our fault. We make mistakes. And we fail. It’s not ideal, but it happens.

Organizations—and their brands—are affected in the same way.

What matters most is what’s done next. Because how an organization responds to and manages a situation is an echo of its character.

When things go wrong in an experience with an organization, people want an apology—something proactive that shows both accountability and empathy.

Apologies need to be sincere

The verbal apology itself should come from a high position in the organization. Because getting an intern to write a press release doesn’t show thoughtful concern.

Apologies need to be timely

Once a customer has a bad experience, there’s only a matter of time before he or she will begin to consider converting to a competitor or even spreading negative publicity about that experience. A speedy response reassures a customer that their needs matter—and are a top priority to the organization.

Which they might not have realized before that negative experience.

Increase customer loyalty through effective service recovery

For example, someone eating at a restaurant might be upset at a slow pace of service and make a comment. He or she may make a side comment to the waiter, but not really expect anything to come from it. Now, let’s say the waiter brings out a complimentary dessert. And the manager makes an effort to apologize to that person. Because of the initial let-down, the customer has now received two instances of special treatment—which wouldn’t have happened otherwise. His previously bad opinion of the situation now has the potential for being a very positive one. All because the restaurant took appropriate action.

We should never hide from fault or failure—nor from an opportunity to apologize appropriately. It could mean the difference between losing a customer forever or strengthening their respect and trust.


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