Customer Experience News & Trends

Something’s gone wrong: Are you really ready to deal with a crisis?

Something goes wrong with your products, services or company. Is your service team — the people who really deal with the public — ready to handle the crisis so you come out smelling like a rose?

Much of your success to handle and prevail through a business crisis depends on what you do before anyone even imagines what can go wrong.

“Proving an exceptional customer experience can make all the difference for a company, brand and its customers, even in a time of crisis,” says Brad Smith Executive VP of Customer Service at Sage North America.

Best bet: Act fast

When a crisis hits — from a product recall or service breakdown to an executive screw-up or bad press — one of the most important things service leaders and the front-line team can do is to act fast.

Smith offers these tips, too:

  • Address the issue with empathy. When customers call a company out on the issue, service pros need to be ready to empathize with how it has affected those customers. As soon as the issue is acknowledged, equip reps with information on what happened, how it affects customers and what is being done to resolve it. Then encourage reps to hear customers out before telling them details.
  • Apologize. A canned response won’t do. Reps want to say, “I’m sorry this has happened and has affected you,” with sincerity.
  • Be transparent. Share all details and allow reps to pass along whatever customers want to know, keeping in mind most customers just want a short explanation and sincere apology.
  • Keep promises. Do what you say you’ll do, and then equip reps to do one more thing to exceed expectations.
  • Focus on current customers. When a crisis happens, many leaders worry about what the general public will think, too. The focus should be on current customers — because if you do right by them and make them happy, they’ll continue to spread good word of mouth and help companies acquire more customers down the road anyway.

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