Service Recovery: What It Is, Types & Strategies

The key to service recovery is maintaining a low number of negative reviews and a high level of customer happiness. Making sure you surpass customer expectations is the cornerstone of every successful company.

In an ideal world, customer service representatives always know precisely what to say and do for consumers, but that is not the scenario. Any company can inevitably run into problems. For example:

  • The customer’s data is lost when the system crashes.
  • Due to a storm, you cannot deliver the customer’s product on schedule.
  • The inaccurate order is delivered to the client by the waiter.

All of these scenarios call for your company to make things right for the client and transform a negative circumstance into a favorable one.

After all, dissatisfied clients may harm your company. In addition to losing their recurring business, you have also lost their word-of-mouth referral business. Positive feedback may work wonders for your company. But what if you’re only left with a damning one?

This article will explain the definition, types, and strategies of service recovery for your business.

What is service recovery?

Service recovery refers to a company’s capacity to fix an unhappy customer’s issue using vital customer service. Service recovery does not happen by itself in the company. You must develop processes that allow your service representatives to provide the best possible solutions for your clients.

According to one study, businesses lose nearly half of their clients every five years. Most consumers believe complaining to employees when an issue arises is a waste of time, and unsatisfied customers will tell others about their dissatisfaction with the service provider.

Long-term customers increase profitability in practically all service firms year after year. Loyal customers often result in fewer marketing expenses, improved operational efficiency, and more profitability. As a result, developing a service recovery plan is essential for firms to retain loyal consumers.

Types and strategies of service recovery

Consider service recovery as an excellent strategy for complaint management. Complaint management is negative; it entails calming angry consumers and reducing a poor situation. Service recovery reveals a customer’s worth and contributes to developing a long-term connection with them.

There are three different types of recovery strategies:

  • Satisfied customers are the goal of customer recovery.
  • Process recovery aims to enhance procedures.
  • Employee recovery as an internal marketing approach to assist staff in dealing with failure and recovery scenarios

So let’s discover the strategies now.

  • Create a fail-safe service

To put it another way, if you’re training someone to drive, you want to ensure the vehicle works correctly first. Consequently, the initial step is to ensure that service delivery is perfect. This requires adequate devotion to the clients from the top.

  • Monitor complaints

Would you believe that most customers don’t bother to complain? Instead, 91% will immediately transfer to a rival.

So, if you want to keep your customers, you should make it easy for them to send you complaints. It would be best if you made it easy for customers to get in touch with you, whether that’s through QR code stickers, a toll-free helpline, or a social media handle.

  • Act immediately

Why do people have no problem standing in line for a movie? The first phrase implies amusement at the conclusion, but a complaint is merely another task.

Long wait times may therefore lose you at least 75% of your customers, which is not surprising. Their irritation will only grow when they understand that you won’t reply for at least a few hours. Therefore, the likelihood of a successful service restoration increases the faster the problem is resolved.

Include a description of the measures you are taking to fix the situation. This type of acknowledgment often calms the consumer right away.

  • The customer should be informed of the issue.

At this point, you must explain to the client why the service failure happened in the first place. They’ll be happy to excuse you for the error once they understand what transpired. Be careful to explain the problem to the client as politely and patiently as possible.

  • Be friendly to your customers.

There aren’t any ifs or buts in it. Consumers should never feel that their problems are not receiving the attention they need.

They must be aware that you are making every effort to address the issues as soon as feasible. They should thus emphasize the advantages, such as the quickness and simplicity of problem-solving, the promptness of follow-ups, etc.

A bonus or a freebie might help soothe damaged emotions and mend the connection if they have been through a lot of trouble.

  • Build a solid connection with your customers.

It is an effective long-term service recovery technique that is unbreakable. Customers are more tolerant of your errors when you establish a solid connection with them. That’s how most relationships operate, isn’t it?

Customers need to trust you to stand behind them in the event of a service problem for a solid connection. It cannot, however, be a one-sided relationship in any way. You must ensure that you deserve their implicit trust if you want to earn their trust.

  • How the customer felt after the service was fixed

The next step is to ascertain how consumers felt after the restoration of service and what your company may gain from this experience. Then, to evaluate the success of the service recovery experience, we advise utilizing experience management tools.

Your recovery plans will be easier to manage if you employ tools for service recovery such as control charts, cause-and-effect diagrams, blueprinting, etc.


You may convert an unsatisfied consumer into one who is pleased and devoted by providing excellent customer service recovery. Since you know how to make things right and turn a bad situation around, customer service failure doesn’t have to be the end of the road with your client.

As soon as possible, extend a genuine apology, accept responsibility for the situation, and seek a solution. After that, fix the issue and give the client a bonus as compensation. Ask the buyer whether they are happy after that and follow up with them.

With QuestionPro’s support, you may identify the underlying causes of client emotions and give them the attention they deserve to create the optimal customer experience. Do it now!