Focus On Client Recovery First, System Recovery Second To Improve Customer Experience

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When negative issues arise in the course of doing business, it’s important to focus initially on helping the client recover. When you work to improve customer experience first and then correct the problem, the rewards just might include loyalty and repeat business.

A perfect example of the need to improve customer experience first arose when I was staying at a dive resort in Papua New Guinea recently. It was quite pleasant, with friendly staff, comfortable accommodation and good food.

I enjoyed a night dive with hungry starfish, scurrying crabs and parrot fish asleep amidst the coral. After the dive, however, I realized someone had slipped into my cabin and scurried off with a pair of pants and a matching canvas belt.

I did not sleep well and next morning reported the loss to the resort manager. “Oh dear, we do have that problem,” she said. “Are you sure you locked your door?” I assured her that I had, to which she replied, “I guess we need to change the lock on that cabin.”

And that was it. From my point of view, someone had entered my room and helped themselves to my clothing. From her point of view, “We need to change the lock.”

No apology. No offer to replace the lost clothing. No complimentary waiver of fees. In short, no effort to improve customer experience was taken.

I did no more diving at that resort (who knows what else might scurry off?) and left a few days early.

key Learning Point To Improve Customer Experience

When something goes wrong for your customer, you may know right away what needs to be done. But before you fix or change the system, set your precious customer at ease. Remember, there is a personal side to every breakdown. It’s the side your customer feels first. Address it and you can improve customer experience to your benefit.

Action Steps To Improve Customer Experience

Be sure your service recovery plan takes care to improve customer experience first, and fixes your system second.


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Copyright, Ron Kaufman. Used with permission. Ron Kaufman is the world’s leading educator and motivator for upgrading customer service and uplifting service culture. He is author of the bestselling “Uplifting Service” book and founder of Uplifting Service. To enjoy more customer service training and service culture articles, visit

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