Use These 4 Steps to Handle Any Customer Service Crisis that Comes Your Way
From product recalls to PR crises, unexpected events require fast action and internal collaboration to manage successfully. Your best defense? A well-planned offense. Planning ahead to minimize the damage before it happens will set you up to survive any customer service crisis. We have helped countless clients prepare for all forms of brand crisis, product recalls, or media events. We’ve found that four important steps are critical to helping you hit the ground running when a crisis strikes.
Plan Ahead — Get a jump on the unexpected with a plan that fits your brand needs. A well-researched crisis plan should include staff training, coverage, specific process steps, and technology solutions. Your plan should be outlined clearly and be ready to be put into action, giving you the flexibility to react at a moment’s notice.
Rehearse — Once your crisis plan is in place, rehearse it with a mock issue. By walking thru the plan you’ll work out the kinks, identify potential challenges, and fine-tune all the details. Now you’re ready for anything.
Communicate Clearly — In the event of a product crisis, clear, consistent communication is an absolute must both internally and publically. Not only should your team be on the same page with scripts and FAQs, but they need to anticipate customer concerns before they pick up the phone. Your customers need to understand the scope of the recall and how it may impact them. It all begins with clear messaging that is informative and succinct. Your message should highlight the impacted products, the potential side effects, and what to do with those products. Make sure your messaging is consistent across print, websites, phone messaging, and social media.
Create Resolution and Satisfaction — With your plan put into action and clear messaging in place, consumer confusion and anxiety are reduced. Now it’s time to make a difference with customer service: coupons, refund checks, replacement products, expert advice, and more should be offered to resolve the issue. Above all, your crisis service team should communicate genuine concern for the safety of your loyal customers on behalf of your staff and the brand itself. Let them know that your brand puts customer safety ahead of sales, products, branding, anything.
Follow these four critical steps to help restore a sense of resolution and satisfaction to the customers who use your products.