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The Art and Science of Service Recovery

by Employee on ‎08-10-2011 09:43 AM

 

Has your business had an experience with a service delivery disruption, defective product, or other form of unplanned misstep that impacted your customers?  How did you handle it?   Do you have a mature service recovery plan, or simply deal with issues as they arise?

 

A wealth of research exists on the topic of service recovery practices, with much of it suggesting that customers are often more loyal to companies after failures of products or services than before.  This is known as the “service recovery paradox.”  The assertion is that proactive, effective service recovery paired with frequent, transparent communication can lead to higher customer satisfaction ratings, goodwill, and more positive word-of-mouth than if the failure never happened.

 

This is not to suggest that service failures are a something a company would wish for, but they do provide opportunities to demonstrate responsiveness, competence, and accountability – qualities customers look for in trusted provider relationships.

 

A good service recovery practice requires advance planning and organizational commitment.  Service failures happen when you least expect them, so having a systematic business process in place in advance is critical.  This includes diagnostic, workflow, and communication elements, to name a few.    

 

CRM can be a key enabler of successful service recovery.  Knowing which customers are affected, being able to reach out to them quickly, and tracking information about the issue within their accounts are all important components of a service recovery process.

 

Do you have examples of a successful service (or product) recovery that you would like to share?  Did you experience the “service recovery paradox?”  How did you use your CRM system to assist? 

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