Learn strategies for how to recover customers when expectations have not been met or set.
- Providing customer service can be difficult as customers often contact us at an already heightened emotional state. These customers are unsatisfied, perhaps even emotional, and they aren't afraid to let us know. Whether the service desk has caused the frustration, or not, we've got a situation where we need to recover the customer. In this movie, we will learn strategies and techniques, to recover unsatisfied customers. Recovery can be defined as taking action to move an unsatisfied, or emotional customer, to a de-escalated state.
We are hesitant to say, move a customer to a satisfied state, because in reality, that may not happen. The goal is to implement recovery strategies to help the customer feel more content with the issue, situation, and resolution. The first technique we'll use to recover our customers, is LEAD. LEAD will help us to bring our unsatisfied customers to a resolution and recovery. There are four, key components to the technique. Listen, empathize, apologize if needed, and discover the source if the dissatisfaction.
This strategy works to help us focus on the customer and their needs. Here's a common scenario, a customer's upset because they haven't received a call back in the timeframe they were told by the service desk. The customer was forced to contact the service desk. Let's, first, look at an example of not using our LEAD strategy. - Hey, I want to know why no one called me back, yesterday, after I was promised a call back. I waited for hours. - Yeah, sorry 'about that. We got real busy yesterday and we weren't able to do anything but answer calls. Lots of customers are mad.
- [Customer] Seriously, you need to work on your support. - So, this example's very common. And it's something I've, personally, heard technicians say to customers at various service desks I've worked in. The intent was there, but the execution came off as insincere, while also making excuses for the service desk. Customers do appreciate an apology. They appreciate it even more without qualifiers or excuses attached to it. Also, this makes the service desk sound unprofessional, unprepared, and it's not the positive image we want to portray.
Let's look at the same example using our LEAD strategy to see a different outcome. - Hey, I want to know why no one called me back yesterday, after I was promised a call back. I waited for hours. - Yes, I see in the notes that your status was supposed to be updated yesterday, and we were supposed to notify you. I apologize for that, let's look at what I can find out and fix this issue. - Uh, yeah, that'd be great. It's really annoying not knowing what's going on. - Okay, I found the information in the system. Looks like the part you ordered is in, so we can, go ahead, and schedule that installation.
Would you like to do that now? - Why didn't someone call me back yesterday? I'm not happy about that. - I'm unsure what happened in the process, I'm making a note to send to my supervisor about this, and I apologize that the callback didn't happen and you had to contact us, again. Since we do have the part, would you like to, go ahead, and schedule your installation? - [Customer] Yes, let's go ahead and do that. - As we can see in our example, The customer may not be completely satisfied, but we kept leading the customer to resolution, to recover the situation.
Leading the customer may not always be this easy. By listening, empathizing, apologizing, and discovering the source of the issue, we can recover our customers quicker and with better success rates. So, what happens when the customer is so focused on the pain, that it's really hard to lead them to resolution? In our next movie, we'll discuss how to use LEAD to redirect our customer.
First, Fancy provides guidance on how to use the right types of questions to gather information about an issue. Then, she explains how to professionally handle common customer service tasks, like escalating and transferring calls. Then, she shows how to hone interactions with customers by refining communications—acknowledging how tone and word choice can diffuse tension. She wraps up by covering common customer behavior scenarios in which the tools, techniques, and strategies from the course can be applied.
- Greeting and validating contacts
- Asking investigative and diagnostic questions
- Confirming and validating responses
- Reaching resolution and closure
- Using mute or hold on a call
- Escalating or transferring a call
- Building rapport over the phone, in writing, and face-to-face
- Refining word choice, style, and tone
- Managing conflict effectively
- Recovering unsatisfied customers
- Redirecting customers
- Identifying customer behavior