In the book Loyalty for Life, author John Tschohl outlines a process for handling mistakes and regaining the customer’s trust after an error has occurred. In addition to acting quickly, taking responsibility, apologizing, fixing the problem, and following up, he also recommends thanking the customer.
This last step, “thanking the customer” is extremely important, he says, but can seem phony or insincere if it is not handled correctly. Instead of simply giving your thanks, let the customer know why you are thankful. For example you might say, “I really appreciate your feedback, it will help us avoid this problem in the future.” Or, “Thank you for telling me about this, we wouldn’t have known there was a problem if you hadn’t called.”
More on service recovery plus articles on ending calls with chatty customers, and making the most of meetings appear in the June issue of Customer Communicator, the training newsletter for frontline reps.