Avoiding a Costa Concordia Styled Service Recovery


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Costa Concordia has supposedly offered passengers a 30% discount on future cruises. Now I don’t know about you, but had I been a passenger on the ill-fated cruise this would make me wonder how much Costa and Carnival are worth so I could sue them for EVERY penny of it. In recent PR moves, the company has denied this saying that this offer was only for passengers booked on future cruises… really?

You don’t have to be a customer service or damage control consultant to know that this was not a great strategy, yet this company is just one in a long line of many businesses who have made similarly ridiculous offers to customers who have been wronged. This offer mearly stands out because of the worldwide attention to the situation and its gravity in terms of loss of life.

When something goes wrong with a customer or in this case a multitude of customers, what is the right response? If a company focuses on ‘Making it Right’ as opposed to ‘What is the least costly alternative we can get by with?’ more desirable results will be obtained. Even a small error with one customer has a huge potential for negative spin thanks to social networking where bad news travels at the speed of light. In my customer service training and keynote presentations, I often ask participants to calculate the potential positive and negative spin which can result from any close encounter with a customer in their business. The number of people to whom we can relay our discontent in today’s world is staggering. For this reason, a planned response strategy is not an option but a necessity… and the plan must be identified before the boat capsizes.

Don’t be caught in the headlines! Plan for the worst while striving for the best and your customer service reputation may have the ability to weather any storm.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Teresa Allen
Teresa Allen is a nationally recognized customer service speaker and customer service author. Allen is owner of Common Sense Solutions, a national training and consulting firm focused on bringing common sense to business and life. Allen is author of Common Sense Service: Close Encounters on the Front Lines and is co-author of The Service Path: Your Roadmap for Building Strong Customer Loyalty.


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