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By Nikolas Hatz

Co-Create The Customer Feedback Experience

wall with grffity 'customer experience'As your employees are probably not clairvoyant, why do they still come up with solutions to customers’ complaints without checking the solution-problem fit with your customers first? Not being prepared for customer complaints means service employees make spontaneous and, thus, hasty decisions that might lead to unintended consequences and outcomes. Therefore, ensure that your employees are properly trained with required skills first, then integrate your customers into the strategy as much as possible to increase recovery satisfaction. Customers tell you when things go wrong, so let them also tell you how to make them right again!

Going Further: Anticipate Needs

By proactively integrating your customers into the complaint processing and recovery system, your company will shine brightly amid your competitors. However, if you can train your service employees to anticipate customer needs in complaint situations, they can offer specific solution choices to customers. Out of pre-selected solution options, customers could choose the option that suits them best.

Empowering Customers: From Complainants To Advocates

Notebook with title 'empowering your customers'Once customers are presented with different solutions and can decide for themselves, they are more willing to support the options they have chosen, instead of a solution that the company imposes. When customers are not integrated into the solution process, but only are presented with one solution that they neither can influence nor control, they often are hesitant, if not skeptical. Imagine sending a bottle of wine as compensation to a complaining customer’s room, but this customer does not drink any alcohol. That’s like offering chocolate pralines to a diabetic or sending flowers to someone who is allergic to them – good intentions that might wind up worsening the situation. Once customers are treated to their preferred recovery options, satisfaction is higher, and disgruntled customers suddenly will provide positive word-of-mouth, telling their friends how well your company handled their complaints.

Defining Options and Solutions

Illustrate plan-do-check-act vectorThere is no need to reinvent the wheel. By applying our 12-step model of customer feedback over time, you will learn about your company’s strengths and weaknesses. While marketing and selling your strengths, the weak points will help identify areas where complaints might occur and recur. During a quiet moment, think of three options for each complaint area while keeping your company’s interests in mind. This will prevent your company from spending too much money on service recovery by making any undesired concessions in front of customers during complaint situations. Your company can, in this way, respond quickly to customer complaints by presenting different solution options from which customers can choose. Simultaneously, customers will appreciate such recovery options and decide which ones suit them best. Keep in mind that choosing a recovery option is highly subjective and always individualistic. If a customer does not like any of the solution options, do not get mired in protocols and instead get creative and think of alternative solutions immediately.

Remain Authentic

Laurel Wreath with '100 percent authentic' text

Once you prepare customer choices under recovery options, ensure that your front-line service employees, supervisors, and managers always remain authentic when they handle customer complaints. Presenting different recovery options never should sound like a memorized set of given options. Instead, staff should engage in a conversation with each complaining customer and develop different options while they convey them. When handling customers’ complaints, remember that although even the best company cannot prepare for every complaint situation, you still can train your staff to react to any such situations authentically.

Get Professional Advice

Excellent ideaHappy to Help: HatzConsult is entirely at your disposal to help you develop a customized strategy on how to integrate customers into the feedback process and co-create the customer-feedback experience within your company. See our complete service offer and contact us for further information and to receive your customized consulting offer.

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