Service recovery is the process of making things right after something has gone wrong with the healthcare experience. It’s doing all that we can in a sincere way that satisfies the patient and their loved one – when service has failed. Why do it? We practice service recovery because it is a good, fundamental business practice that can turn a negative situation into a positive statement about our organization. In addition, it helps curb bad public relations: dissatisfied customers have a tendency to tell others about their negative experience.
Service recovery, when done right, is a loyalty creator. Patient satisfaction surveys ask how we respond to their concerns/complaints. When our customers give us high scores on how well we handled their problem, they are more likely to recommend our organization to a friend. This recommendation is an indicator of their loyalty to us. In addition, research shows that a ‘recovered’ customer is actually more satisfied than one who did not experience any problems at all!
In the service industry, occasional mistakes are inevitable. Even the perception of a mistake is enough to cause customer dissatisfaction. If a patient believes that an employee’s actions have created a negative situation – whether the employee is truly at fault or not – then that staff person needs to do service recovery.
Finally, if we want to turn potentially negative word-of-mouth advertising into glowing praise, it needs a working service recovery plan that helps us achieve ‘Outstanding Care with Compassion’.
What is the Value of Service Recovery?
Any time your service fails to meet a customer’s expectations, service recovery is in order. Remember, if the customer perceives that there is a problem, there is a problem.
The quicker the response after a patient and/or family has voiced a concern, the more effective the recovery effort will be. Studies show that customer satisfaction plummets when organizations take too long to fix their mistakes. Any employee who identifies a customer concern has 15 minutes to begin the service recovery process. We want our patients to know that we are serious about their satisfaction, and we show it by taking immediate action. Some Situations Requiring Service Recovery
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