The Service Recovery Paradox

Posted: 27 August 2019

“The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.” – Oscar Wilde

No one likes it when things go wrong. It is inconvenient for customers, puts the brand reputation at risk, and it is sometimes just embarrassing. But what if you could turn a bad situation into a memorable customer experience?

The service recovery paradox is a situation in which a customer thinks more highly of a company after the company has corrected a problem with their service, compared to how they would regard the company if non-faulty service had been provided.

It seems far-fetched, but businesses do this everyday by putting in place the right tools, processes and technology to enable their staff to be nimble and empowered.

Each frustrated customer that contact your company is an opportunity to transform the situation into a positive customer experience and build brand loyalty.

So how do you do this?

1. Create the right processes so your staff know what to do

No one can ‘predict’ when something will go wrong or what that may be. In the age of technology there are many parts to businesses that are sometimes out of their control, a crucial piece of equipment breaks down, the delivery is late, the internet fails in your area and the customer becomes unhappy and contacts you. Training your staff to react quickly, demonstrate empathy and find resolutions will help them gain confidence in dealing with unexpected issues.

2. Communication is Key 

When bad things happen you need the right tools in place to be able to communicate effectively. You need to be able to listen to the customer and hear what they are trying to say. Sometimes when a frustrated customer calls “My deliver is late”, they are actually crying out for more transparency on your delivery process. Setting expectations with an estimated time for delivery sms after a purchase is made and a followup message if the delivery is late can make all the difference.

3. Have the right technology in place

If a product gets recalled or an email accidentally gets sent to the client base, a surge of calls into a contact centre may occur. It is even more frustrating when a customer is then faced with an engaged tone or long wait time. Having technology that scales such as ipSCAPE can assist in those times. You can add more agents immediately because it is a cloud, licence based service. You can update the IVR to play a message confirming the email was made incorrectly. You can route calls to another department who may be able to assist with the overflow of calls. Having the right technology can make all the difference.

The takeaway from the Service Recovery Paradox, of course, isn’t that service failure is an acceptable practice of a good business. The real message is that good customer service will always be one of the most important factors in any business’ success. The two top reasons for customer loss are that they feel poorly treated, and don’t have issues resolved. So, the real issue is not always the failure itself, but how your customer service agents respond to failure or customer issues and the technology they can use to facilitate communication such as call centre software.

Interested to find out how leading brands have used the Service Recovery Paradox to improve customer loyalty?

Download our Service Recovery e-book  here. 

Contact Us to find out more about how you can create great customer experiences in your business.