Are Your Recoveries Really Recoveries? Part 2

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In February I wrote a post about a recent service recovery experience with Swiss Chalet.

I thought I would share the subsequent follow up I had with the manager of the particular store I mentioned.

The franchise manager called a couple days later because I had made a comment through their website about my experience. I thought it would be interesting to see how they reacted.

The timing of the return call was pretty quick, but upon connecting, her first concern was to ensure that the issue was with her particular location — and not another  location. I confirmed it was her location.

She then asked what I wanted to make this right — yes those were her exact words. I indicated I wasn’t looking for anything — I had just responded to the feedback form that was made available to me for feedback. They had asked — so I assumed they were interested in what I had to say. :)

She then indicated that she was calling because “the Franchise owner wanted me to clarity that it was their store”.

She saw I had received a $6.00 credit and said “she would take up with the central organization”. Implying that somehow, someone else had dropped the ball in the total experience.

And that concluded the call. Not even an apology on behalf of her store.

My Perspective: This encounter is part of a much bigger problem I am seeing in the service industry — particularly the auto industry. The follow-up survey for customer satisfaction.

You know the one — where corporate has arranged for a survey company to call customers to gain feedback and then punishes the outlet if they have poor performance.

This results in employees basically asking people to give them a high ranking so the employees/outlet doesn’t get in trouble or even penalized. Talk about a skewed result. Employees start to “game” the system when feedback is used as a stick.

How is this type of information gathering supposed to help businesses improve? They have missed the real opportunity for honest feedback because they have forgotten the purpose of the feedback loop.

 So have a look at your customer feedback programs. Are they focused on improving the experience or punishing the laggards. Are they being implemented simply because you know that you should be measuring customer experience — or are you using this important tool to fine-tune and continuously improve.

There are much more effective ways to deal with the poor performers.

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