Create a Service Recovery Strategy in 4 Steps

Gladly Team

Read Time

4 minute read

Service recovery is your best defense against customer failure and churn, making it an essential skill for customer service. Customer failure can result from even the smallest of issues, as 42% of customers say they would switch brands after just two poor customer service experiences.

By recovering customers, you can build newfound trust among loyal shoppers while protecting your brand’s reputation and revenue. Learn how your team can build customer loyalty with service recovery.

What Is Service Recovery?

Service recovery is the process of contacting customers who had a poor experience to identify and resolve their issue. By performing service recovery, you can rebuild your brand’s reputation and reclaim lost customers.

Service recovery not only offers your business the opportunity to redeem itself, but it also allows you to level up your support processes to prevent similar issues and customer service complaints in the future.

The service recovery paradox

Recovered customers are proven to be more loyal to brands after experiencing service failure than customers who have been consistently satisfied. This phenomenon is known as the service recovery paradox, and it’s a driving force behind many service recovery efforts.

The Importance of Service Recovery

By recovering customers, your business prevents customer churn — the loss of customers over a period of time, which also means major revenue loss. In fact, customer churn leads to approximately $168 billion in lost revenue for U.S. companies every year.

Without a service recovery plan in place, your brand may face the consequences of scorned shoppers detracting from your business. Frustrated customers have the potential to damage your brand’s reputation, leading to increased customer churn and further losses in revenue.

Service Recovery Steps to Enhance Customer Relationships

Every business deals with customer churn. What sets successful businesses apart from the rest is their ability to recover shoppers. If you’re not sure where to start, use the next four steps to create or enhance your internal process and approach each issue with care.

1. Gather information

Before you can fix a customer’s issue, you first have to fully understand the circumstances. Ask follow up questions like these:

  • Which agent helped you?
  • What was the call regarding?
  • When did this occur?
  • What could they have done differently?

By providing agents with access to a full conversation timeline, you can gather most of this information before you even contact a failed customer. This saves your team time and helps get to the resolution stage of service recovery quicker.

2. Apologize and offer consolation

The most important part of service recovery is taking responsibility and offering a genuine apology that acknowledges the customer’s frustration. By working off an apology script, you can stay consistent while remaining sincere. To enhance this apology, offer a consolation, such as a refund, voucher, or other token of appreciation.

Agents should also approach a customer’s issue with empathy to make them feel heard. Integrating empathy exercises into your team’s training will prepare them to field these issues with care.

3. Resolve the issue

Resolving customer failure correctly can be more complex than it seems. Offer your team the right solutions and techniques to ensure your customers are satisfied with their resolution, such as:

4. Survey customers to prevent future issues

Check back in on your customers with a customer satisfaction survey. This will help your team determine how effective your service recovery was, as well as the potential for this customer to become a promoter for your brand.

Once you have identified and resolved your customer’s issue, you now have the opportunity to prevent further customer failure. Gladly tools like People Match help customers reach the best-fit agent to resolve their issue on the first try.


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Service Recovery Examples

Let’s take a look at a few service recovery examples to see what it looks like in action.

1. A shopper receives an item late: Your agents should be empathetic to the frustration this causes your shopper. They should look into the cause of the delay, offer a refund and an apology, and assure them that the problem will not happen again.

2. Poor customer service leads to service failure: If a customer has experienced service failure, don’t hesitate to reach out. Learn more about the problem, resolve their issue in real-time, offer them empathy and a resolution, and survey them at the end to make sure they are satisfied.

3. Catching service failure before it happens: Offer customers options to help themselves through IVR or chat. If they want to speak to an agent, connect them with the right agent the first time, and treat them with empathy.

By properly preparing your agents for these situations, you will recover customers more effectively and reduce your levels of churn.

Boost Your Customer Service Recovery With Gladly

Service recovery is the safety net your customer retention strategy needs. By using tools from Gladly, your agents can provide the best experience possible for customers and avoid future failures. Tools like Customer Details and Gladly Insights stop customer failure in its tracks by offering your agents comprehensive shopper information.