Are Your Recoveries Really Recoveries?

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Recently my wife picked up dinner for 4 on the way home from work. We had ordered online from Swiss Chalet (Canadian Rotisserie chicken franchise). Swiss Chalet is known for their dipping sauce, which is included with every signature meal.

When she arrived home, we discovered that the “special sauce” was not included in the order.

I called the order desk to report this lapse and the conversation went something like this.

First she confirmed the order by asking for my phone number.

My thought: Doesn’t every order come with Chalet sauce? Why would I be making this up?

Then she apologized — a number of times.

My thought: Good, you should. Our dinner has been ruined because Swiss Chalet didn’t execute the order correctly.

Then she indicated that I could return to the store to pick up the sauce.

My thought: But what about our dinner now getting cold in the kitchen? Not much of a solution.

I declined to return to the store, indicating the solution wasn’t very practical because our dinner wouldn’t taste very good cold, while waiting for me to head back to the store

She apologized again and offered me a $6.00 credit on my next order (the initial order was approx $30.00)

My thought: Would $6.00 really inspire me to return when the product had disappointed me. No!

My Perspective: We all know that a good recovery can actually have a positive impact on loyalty after the initial disappointing customer experience.

However, what happens if the recovery is also disappointing?

It further reinforces the negative experience and drives a further wedge between your company and a repeat visit.

Swiss Chalet clearly didn’t think their recovery process through from the customer perspective.

In my mind 2 options were appropriate.

  1. First choice: Replace the entire meal and have it delivered to the customer home. Woo Hoo!
  2. Provide a credit for a full meal to entice me to return and experience how great their service/food should be. At least I might give them a second chance.

Great service will make up for a miss with the product. But mediocre service will only reinforce the poor product.

Three Tips:

  1. Make sure you review your recovery processes from the customer perspective.
  2. Ask the customer. Do this when determining your recovery process and again after each recovery to ensure that you have indeed recovered.
  3. Make sure your people are trained to ask for customer feedback and empowered to make it right. Every customer is not equal — don’t treat them like they are.

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