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In this topic, we are going to establish how to deal with service failures. A service failure refers to a situation where we did not manage to satisfy the customer for a few reasons. Sometimes, a service is not available when promised, a service may be delivered late or too slowly, the outcome of the service might be incorrect or poorly executed or the service provider might have been rude or uncaring. Unless we know how to recover from any such failure, these failures will drive customers away and ruin the image of the business. We become aware of a service failure when a customer complains. The way in which we deal with complaints determine whether the customer will accept the failure and remain a loyal supporter or whether the customer will contemplate switching to another service provider.

One of the most difficult challenges to customer-facing people is handling customer complaints. Customers may be disappointed with products, frustrated with service or angered over billing mistakes. They usually come storming in, ready for a fight. The hard part is not to resolve the problem, but to regain the customer’s good will. Here are a few techniques for handling complaints.

  • We are not going to tell you that you will not encounter difficult or dissatisfied customers. Our customers have expectations. Occasionally, an individual or an entire company does not deliver the expected service.
  • Not being able to deliver what has been promised creates a situation of disillusionment. When dealing with these customers, there is a need for a specific set of skills. Occasionally, you as the service provider are not at fault. However, someone else in the chain of supply is. Even in this situation it is important to use your customer care knowledge and discretion, starting with self-responsibility.
  • The only way to fail-safe your service is to do it right the first time!
  • Because service entails human interaction, service failure is inevitable. Mistakes do happen and mistakes will happen. We need to straighten them out and this requires some skill.