How Can You Recover From Customer Service Blunders?

Every day for the last week my newsfeed has been riddled with customer service disasters, and it really does bring three issues to light:

  • Right or wrong, it happens to everyone,
  • There is more than one side to every story, and;
  • The speed at which bad publicity spreads is lightening fast.

So, what do you do? What lessons have we learned as we witnessed (rather publicly) the good, the bad and the ugly of bad customer service:

1. Offer a sincere apology – both personally and on Social Media – quickly. The catch here is that there are two levels of response. The first is to the customer that you provided poor customer service to – contact this person directly, not via Social Media channels, and offer a sincere apology for what happened. See what you can do to remedy the situation, and assure them that you will review what happened. If possible, set up a call so the sincerity of your apology can be clear. Konseling Online Your second response, if the incident was posted to Social Media, would appropriately be to post an apology on the relevant channels as well.

2. Take responsibility – while initially you may not know how service went awry, it did. Review what processes failed and how to improve upon them.

3. Talk to your team – Does your team have what they need to offer excellent customer service, how can processes be revised to give them what they need? Did the poor customer service happen because training was lacking? Because communication wasn’t open enough? Did your team member not feel comfortable to reach out after business hours for help? This is a constructive opportunity for the team to become a tighter and more informed unit. Embrace it!

4. Follow up – after you review with your team the highs and lows, and develop a plan to avoid such customer service mishaps in the future, reach out to your less than satisfied customer and ask them to be a part of the solution. Inform them the changes you’ve made, and ask for their input.

5. Try not to take it personally – as business owners we’re not perfect, and neither are our staff. Even with the best of intentions, bad customer service does happen. Accept it as an opportunity for growth and development.

And of course, not all customer service blunders require a radical overhaul of your team processes. Sometimes an apology is enough, and then its time to move on. There are customers that will never be happy with what is offered, and as the business owner, you really need to dig deep to hear the full account of what happened. Don’t be quick to blame your team, they may have been offering as much as they can, and were being faced with a difficult customer, determined not to be happy.