Even if you think that you have the most effective customer service department in the world, mistakes still happen. When they do, you want to put the lid on them and contain the after effects, fast.
You may not think that rescuing one customer is worth deploying the troops over, but if the word gets out that you deliver poor customer service with no resolutions, then the situation could escalate further.
By reacting to feedback quickly, you can avoid the loss of not only one customer but many others, however it is an operational challenge to pull real-time recovery off.
Turn your feedback around fast
You need to react to negative feedback quickly. Establish an effective way of monitoring comments as they come into your contact centre and ensuring that the most negative or emotionally charged are reacted to first.
This doesn't mean you should neglect the softer issues, to be a truly customer-centric business you need to identify the scale of the issue but follow up with each of your customers. This illustrates the care and commitment you have to create a great customer experience at every touchpoint.
However, if you don’t collect your feedback in real-time, then there’s no opportunity to respond quickly. If a customer receives a survey a week after a disastrous delivery occurred, it’s likely that any opportunity to win the customer back will have been lost.
Listen and say sorry
When you pick up the phone to call a customer, make sure that you listen to everything they have to say. This could mean sitting on the phone for 15 minutes whilst they tell you the whole story.
Make notes about what they say and focus on their experience, prepare to ask questions after they’ve finished so you can understand the full picture. Getting them to give you as much information as possible will mean that their comments can be put to good use.
Asking them questions also shows that you genuinely care about what they say, even if they’ve made a decision to not purchase from you again. Saying sorry and showing how you can help them will ensure that even if they don’t return to you, they are less likely to tell other potential customers about the experience.
At the end of the call reassure them that you will act on their feedback and keep in touch, this is also an opportune time to double check their contact details to make sure that you can get in contact with them easily.
Resolve and reflect
Follow-up calls and emails will show that you really care about them and make it more likely that they will return as a customer. Always check in to see if there’s anything else you can do for them and ask for feedback on how you dealt with the problem.
This also means that during the whole process you have built up a file of feedback that can be distributed and use to improve services throughout the company. Regular reviews of these feedback comments will make sure that there aren’t recurring problems leading to a consistent churn in customers.
Empower your frontline staff
By empowering your frontline staff and training them in the above three steps, you make sure that they are equipped to deal with whatever comes their way. It also means that the department will feel confident to deal with any difficult customer situations.
In turn, this will make customers have more faith in you as a company and make them less likely to ask for the manager when they are initially complaining.
You won’t win them all over
Sometimes, one problem is one too many for some customers. Even if you deal with the problem in the best way possible you might not win them back. All you can do in these cases is contain the issue and make it less likely for bad reviews to get around via word of mouth.
Getting feedback fast, turning it around and keeping customers informed will ensure that even if you don’t stop the explosion, you contain it and prevent any further damage to the business.
To help keep your frontline employees stay engaged we created the 'Six Top Tips For Employee Engagement In The Contact Centre' where we highlight the most common complaints made by Contact Centre Agents and tips to help you stay on top of your game!