5 Steps to Extraordinary Service Recovery

My third retrospective installment comes from my book The New Gold Standard and looks at Service Recovery at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company:

Customers are all too often surprised when businesses accept responsibility for breakdowns, thus providing a strategic advantage for those businesses that their admit faults.  John Fleming, Ph.D., Principal and Chief Scientist for Gallup and coauthor of the book Human Sigma: Managing the Employee-Customer Encounter, says, “Taking responsibility for customer problems is a huge area of opportunity, because most companies don’t do a good job of it. It’s a low-hanging fruit in building strong relationships.”

The steps involved in salvaging a bad experience (whether it is caused by your business or not) are fairly simple; yet all too often these steps are not followed:

1) Share a genuine and compassionate reaction to the person’s distress

2) offer appropriate apologies

3) assure the person you will take care of the issue

4) individually, and through the resources of your team, see that the problem is taken care of in a way that meets the satisfaction of the customer and does not reoccur, and

5) go one step further to demonstrate that you want to try to compensate for the person’s loss or frustration.

How effectively and consistently are you practicing these 5 steps of service recovery?

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Joseph A. Michelli, Ph.D. is a professional speaker and chief experience officer at The Michelli Experience. A New York Times #1 bestselling author, Dr. Michelli and his team consult with some of the world’s best customer experience companies.

Follow on Twitter: @josephmichelli


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Joseph Michelli, Speakers Connect. Speakers Connect said: 5 Steps to Extraordinary Service Recovery: My third retrospective installment comes from my book The New Gold St… https://bit.ly/gfxZLf […]

  2. pule jane on July 9, 2012 at 5:47 am

    it is wise for the business manages to draft their own service recovery plans as to retain the dissatisfied customers, but how possible it is to recover the dissatisfied customers?

  3. Joseph Michelli on July 20, 2012 at 7:46 am

    Thanks for your comment! I am convinced that great service recovery not only can save the customer affected but has significant value in attracting new customers. When people are treated well after a breakdown the word gets around. Customers know that no product or service is flawlessly what they don’t know is if the company they are doing business with will take care of them when things go wrong.

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