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Customer Service Recovery Process

FreeSpirit Resort & Holiday Park Management

Planning your business so that all your guests are always super satisfied is a nice idea but hardly realistic.

So at some point a customer service recovery will have to occur – this process fixes whatever has gone wrong and makes it right for the guest.

What is Service Recovery?
Specific service recovery is the process that occurs when your guest/s, provide a negative response in person to one of your employees or in their guest feedback survey. It is a special type of reactive service recovery but one that can drive substantial value for the business.

When should this process begin?
Immediately after the receipt of any negative feedback or a request for action!

Why It is Important?
• It will generate improved profit for the business
• It will increase the success of Guest Feedback
• It will increase the value of the business
• In fact it will generate a positive ROI, i.e. the value created is more than the cost of performing the process

The 4 steps needed to implement a recovery process?

1. Make the Decision to Do It
This sounds simple and it is. However, management must decide that they will invest and support in this process. And be taken in the faith that it will generate value but one that will need to be validated later in the process.
In the short term, it will cost money and time to implement however, they will soon be recouped because customers will be happier and more loyal and will return with their custom more regularly, thereby increasing the profitability of the business.

2. Design the Reaction Process
Gather the key staff – guest services, operations, sales, etc. together – and make decisions on a process that all agree and will happily move quickly with because they have been part of the design process.

There are 2 approaches that could be employed:
a. Listen, Gather and Redirect
In this approach, you have one or two persons responsible for receiving all of the requests for action or cases. These persons are then responsible for passing these requests out to the correct people in the rest of the organisation. They are also responsible for following up to ensure that the case has been closed.

b. Direct Action
Alternatively, have the request directed straight into the applicable part of the organisation for action.
In this case, someone has to be responsible for catching the request and actioning it in the business.
Of these two, Direct Action is the most efficient as you don’t need a coordinating person/s to manage the allocation of tasks. However, it is also the most difficult to implement. The most important issue is how to decide which piece of feedback to automatically direct to which group or person and also to ensure that the recovery process has been implemented.

Often it is easiest to set up the Listen, Gather and Redirect Process in the beginning and move to the Direct Action approach, once the process has become a part of the daily culture of the business.

Whichever approach is taken Respond Quickly and Take Action!

1. Set target times
One business day or perhaps same business day of receipt of issue.

2. Make Contact
Ensure that contact is made with the guest via their preferred channel (normally telephone or email) and let them know that you have heard them.
Their first reaction will be shock that someone has even read their guest feedback form (or that their verbal feedback was actually passed on) and even more shock that something is actually happening. After they get over the shock you can help them through whatever issue they have expressed. On average the result will be a happy guest who is probably more loyal than before they had the issue.

3. Document the Process
Documenting the process is really just to set it into place in the organisation. Whatever you document has a much greater chance of being followed day in and day out. It will also survive staff changes and holidays more effectively.

4. Work Out the Value that has been Created
Analyse the data to identify the impact that you are having on guest value. This is a very important step and should be completed at 3, 6, 12 month intervals. If the negative issues are being addressed quickly, the business should be showing an increased return and have a very loyal customer base that continues to grow.