One of the best practices to maintain high levels of Customer Satisfaction is to prevent known problems. One technique to help with this objective is to create system to notify customers of issues that might affect them, that are affecting them or that they should be aware  of.

Why is ‘Notification of Known Problems’ important?

Nothing is more infuriating to customers than to call a company service or support organization about an issue and being told it is a well known problem. If it is so well known, why isn’t the organization letting customers know about it ahead of a disaster instead of letting the customer experience the problem and call in for support. Customers expect to be notified of known problems, how to recognize who is affected by the problem, and what actions to take to minimize risk or avoid the problem completely.

What is ‘Notification of known problems’?

This is a process of setting up communication channels with customers (and the business partners between you and the customer in the supply chain) to let them know if something might be affecting their use of your product or service. The notification should include selected items from the following list.

1. The nature of the problem. Is this problem an inconvenience, a safety issue, a possible disaster that needs to be avoided, or something optional that the customer can decide whether or not to follow up with the problem.

2. How a customer might know if they are affected (such as product name, manufactured date(s), release or version of the product, or anything that would help a customer understand if this problem is relevant to them.

3. What fix is available for the problem and how to get it OR what preventative action the customer can take to avoid the problem. In some cases, it might be a complete recall of the product or destruction of the product with a method to get compensated.

4. Timeframe and time lines ie when the solution or fix might be available and how might the customer know.

5. Who to call or contact for more information. This might be the company itself or it might be one of their business partners (franchisees, retail store, dealer, etc).

6. How to stay informed about the problem or what plan is in place to communicate with customers.

Watch for the next post in this series on How to set up a Notification System with your customers.

I welcome your comments below.

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Adele Berenstein

Adele Berenstein is an Experienced Customer Satisfaction Executive, recently retired from a Large Global IT Organization after a long productive management career including Sales, Marketing, Services, teaching and education center management and most recently, 19 years in customer satisfaction management. She turned around divisions with customer satisfaction problems, implemented measurable improvements and management systems, and implemented programs to prevent problems from ever affecting customers.

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