What is Service Recovery?
Service recovery relates to the planned systems and effort that a firm provides to correct a problem following a service failure with the specific objective of retaining a customer’s goodwill.
Low performance of retail service is likely to produce a complaint. For example, if a customer arrives at an out of town retail store and cannot find a place to park, he may be dissatisfied. When a dissatisfied customer defects, the long time value of that customer is lost for the retailer.
Long term revenue can be increased by service recovery strategies.
A good service recovery procedure enables a customer to refocus on the satisfaction received from the service delivery process rather than questioning on the corrective action. If a customer complaint is dealt with appropriately by following good service recovery strategies, the customer is likely to become more loyal.
Requisites of effective service recovery
Effective recovery requires
1. acting fast to resolve the problem on the spot or within short a period.
2. being open and admitting mistakes if the retailer is in the wrong.
3. providing empathy by understanding the problem through the perceptions of the customer so as to recognise their preferences.
4. providing a relationship whereby there is a partnership of looking at the problem to see how both parties may best resolve it as a part of a mutually acceptable solution.
5. informing and clarifying the steps which will be initiated to resolve the problem.
6. ensuring that the customer understands the initiation of corrective steps.
7. remedial action to be undertaken to avoid the recurrence of the problem.
Essentials of individual service recovery strategies
The factors involved in individual service recovery strategies may be discussed under the following heads:
- watching for sign language;
1. Watching for sign language
The silent customer who is not satisfied may escape a firm’s attention. But he may inform many of his acquaintances about his problem. Sufficient opportunities must exist in the retail environment for complainants to lodge complaints to the retail organizations. Some organizations provide toll free numbers for receiving complaints from customers.
They may also impart training to employees to enable staff to look for symptoms of customer’s dissatisfaction. Immediate remedial action may be provided if staff suspect poor service. Companies should prove their commitment to the customer through their transparent service quality measures.
Companies should have proper analysis for the service delivery process. They must anticipate those aspects of service which may exceed the tolerance level of customers. Low levels of staffing may affect the judgement of the customer in relation to the overall level of service quality delivery.
Basically, a service is an interpersonal performance activity. It involves the provision of communication to the consumers. Skills training to the retail staff will enhance their ability to deal with the most difficult situations. Training will allow staff to feel confident in the service encounter transaction. Overall service recovery may suffer if there is a high proportion of untrained staff.
Service must be effectively supervised. Frontline retail staff need to react quickly to service problem situations without the assistance of supervisors. So, the frontline staff should be empowered to service a customer problem. They should have skills, resources and authority to do so. An employee who provides extra satisfaction may avoid customer dissatisfaction totally. Empowerment also conveys an element of obligation to act.