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How is customer service best recovered after a mistake has been made?

How to redress customer service after a mistake?

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If a mistake has been made with a customer or client (it was nothing to do with me personally but a member of my team), what is the best way to recover the situation and return things to normal and avoid any reputation damage?

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By clive boorman
12th Jan 2015 07:56

Hi Esther, there isn't a one-size fits all solution to this and broadly speaking (assuming that the client knows that there's been a mistake), you might start by asking them 'what would put this right for you?' and then just doing it.

There is a theory that clients who have experienced mistakes and then had them rectified qucikly and to their satisfaction can be bigger advocates for the organisation becuase those people who haven't had mistakes made have no experience of how well things are dealt with.

Anyway, rectify the mistake quickly and without any pain for the client.  Be honest and genuine with them and don't try to make excuses or sugar coat it.  Aologise and show them how you will avoid the same mistake happening again

If they raise any genuine concerns really listen to them and demonstrate how you have improved things at your end as a result of this incident that will avoid problems recoccuring.





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Mark McCormack
By Mark McCormack
12th Jan 2015 09:03

Hi Esther
There are many tips I would love to share with you, but here are two which I hope will be food-for-thought and help you:-
In a few rare cases, the customer may just be a difficult one! If you've tried what you consider to be 'everything', simply as the customer: "What can I do to make you happy now Mrs Johnson?"
In many cases, it may be something you are able to do; you just may not have thought of it. So go ahead and ask them!
When something has gone wrong, don't make a customer wait for good service while you try to fix it.
Fix the problem as quickly as possible. The cost of the fix must be considered, but don't get hung up about pinching pennies or going through the layers of bureaucratic approvals. Service recovery is an investment in long term relationships and the ROI can be tremendous.
Your fix (depending on the nature of your business) may be a replacement, a repair, a return, a new product alternative, an apology or a new person working on that client account. Don't get stuck pointing fingers internally or arguing about cost. Just do it!
And ensure it doesn't happen again - for this customer or others. Make each mistake a learning opportunity for everyone involved. Repeated mistakes are the real cost you want to avoid.

Your question has inspired me to write a blog about managing mistakes so I will post a blog with other useful tips this morning! I recommend you check out at some point today.


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