Customer service agents – from operations managers to call center supervisors – all want to provide efficient, quick mitigation after a poor experience. Cross-departmental teams seek to hit service metrics around customer complaints and achieve industry service rankings in hopes of retaining their most loyal customers. But what if your organization’s mitigation efforts aren’t actually working to achieve those scores or retain loyal customers? Despite the fact that your efforts are standard practice in your business or industry, it’s possible that your customers may not agree that you are, in fact, effectively mitigating their problems.
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes.
Let’s imagine…You bring your car to the dealership for routine maintenance. You call ahead, make an appointment, arrive right on time. You likely don’t expect to be greeted with your favorite coffee and pastries. What you do expect, however, is quality work and a good customer experience. Instead, the dealership forgot your appointment, left you waiting for three hours and charged you extra for labor and unnamed “supplies.
In an effort to remedy the situation, they offer you a 10 percent off coupon on your next oil change.
Mitigation: The power of customer choice
There’s a glaring problem with this scenario: the dealership assumes you’ll choose to have your oil changed there again. But based on your experience, that’s not likely the case. In fact, 60 percent of consumers aren’t likely to stay with a brand if they’ve not been compensated at all, but if they have been compensated adequately, 90 percent of customers say they are likely to stay (and a 10% off coupon for your next visit doesn’t count as adequate).
Providing choice in the recovery process shows customers that you’re aiming to right the situation by giving them something they want; not something you want to offer them.
Giving customers the option to choose for themselves illustrates that your organization:
- Values loyal customers
- Understands a customer’s individual preferences
- Cares that a customer had a poor experience and empathizes with their feelings of frustration
Let customers choose what they would like to receive as a token of your apology – from a store gift card to a brand of their choosing, to pre-paid gift cards that are as good as cash. Your customers are unique. Don’t give them a one-size-fits-all mitigation offer.
With a wealth of options (read: your competitors) to choose from, consumers are more in control than ever. Your customers chose to spend their money with you. Show them you appreciate their business by letting them choose.
Almost all consumers say they will continue to do business with you if they feel they have been adequately compensated for their bad experience. So, when it comes to mitigation, if you want to keep loyal customers, give them what they want in return.