Customer experience is best defined as the perception of your customers based on all the interactions they have with your brand. Some of those perceptions extend beyond their direct interactions with you.
Some people have suggested that when it comes to customer loyalty, it’s good to create service breakdowns that you can resolve well. I have unsuccessfully looked for data to support that recommendation and never advise my clients to willfully inconvenience customers (there are enough breakdowns occurring naturally). I do, however, recommend empowering your people with trust and instructing them on the steps of service recovery.
In addition to following these five steps listed above, brands like The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company (the focus of my book The New Gold Standard) empower their people to take needed action without having to seek approval from their supervisors. Specifically, leaders at the Ritz-Carlton give every employee (referred to as the ladies and gentlemen of the Ritz-Carlton) authority of up to $2,000 per day, per guest to address service recovery or service elevation.
Service recovery is also discussed in my upcoming book about Airbnb (which is available at a special pre-order discount using the coupon code THANKS through the following link).
In The Airbnb Way, I talk about the importance of empowering team members to address service breakdowns with clear communication and service urgency, “Most customers are calculating the cost of an experience based not only on how much money they pay but also on how much time and effort they must expend to receive their goods or services. Airbnb hosts report that service speed is a significant factor in delivering value and maintaining guest trust [particularly when service breakdowns occur].”
Turing breakdowns into breakthroughs is an art that is seldom executed well.
I would love to talk to you about extending trust to your team members to drive customer trust. Simply reach out to me, and we will talk soon.
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
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