Control the
Damage Ahead
of Time

Your clients’ awareness
of your company’s experience
is most acute when something
has gone wrong.

Control the Damage Ahead of Time

Your clients’ awareness of your company’s experience is most acute when something has gone wrong. This is the time when the experience means the most and when they’re most convinced they’ll be let down or forced to be their own vigorous advocate. By an unfortunate coincidence, this is typically the time when they’re fundamentally let down by most companies or forced to be their own vigorous advocate.

That it doesn’t happen at your company is the point; your clients have faced this from other companies and they anticipate and judge your company accordingly. Even the most advantaged client has experienced more bad service than good service. To combat this misperception your experience has to be as spectacular and signature and sustainable when things go wrong as when things go right.

When things go wrong, companies are generally at their reactionary, defensive, uncoordinated worst. This will allow your company to be at its outstanding, coordinated best. You should almost be hoping for something to go wrong to prove how good your client experience really is.

It includes exaggerating the response and resolution to any problem, for the same reason that exaggerating other facets of the support experience will create legends amongst client cultures.

Always Do This

  • Plan ahead for what can go wrong in the client experience. Develop a brandable response for each situation. Write them down, make access immediately available to all involved employees, and practice responses like fire drills.
  • Make your clients whole for the damage they’ve incurred. It’s not enough to simply rectify the problem; they’ve still had to endure that problem.
  • Give authority to employees to resolve as many problems as possible. Management should be notified when the problems occur but not step in unless a situation has escalated to that level or the employee wants to show a client that management is aware of the issue.
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