Customer Experience Recovery Tactics

of four

Customer Experience Recovery Tactics - Non-Profit

While we were able to find some examples of tactics that non-profits use to exemplify excellent customer servicesThere is no recent information in the public domain providing creative ways that non-profits recover customers. The focus of all the publicly available information seems to be on proactively providing excellent customer service. Three examples are described below.

Consistent Communication


  • Proactively seeking out the people who use the service provided by the non-profit and asking them for input is another way to head off unfortunate client experiences.
  • One of the more academically rigorous publications for non-profit professionals recommends this guide to doing surveys.
  • After surveying the participants in their health, social and educational programs, staff in a Houston non-profit reworked the entire intake process based on survey responses that highlighted long waits and unfriendly service.
  • A food bank operating in Canton and Akron Ohio installed an awning after clients told them it was unpleasant to wait outside in bad weather when picking up their food.


A Guide

— An expression of regret
— An explanation of what went wrong
— An acknowledgment of responsibility
— A declaration of repentance
— An offer of repair
— A request for forgiveness


Unfortunately, despite deep dives into the topic of unhappy customers for non-profits, we were unable to find any relevant creative way to win back customers with unfortunate experiences.

We began our search by looking for non-profits that had used customer experience recovery tactics. Finding nothing, we switched to a more general search of unhappy non-profit customers. Not finding anything, we thought maybe looking for non-profit apologies might give us some examples of dealing with unhappy customers. Our searches returned many articles for non-profits, but none that provided the kind of cases the research criteria described.

Taking a different approach, we switched to searching general news articles and magazines for any stories about non-profits doing anything to recover unhappy customers. We found numerous stories in the news of non-profits doing something wrong, or even perceived as wrong. The organizations made general apologies to their stakeholders and announced what they would change. Some of these examples included St Mary's Catholic hospital apologizing for a patient wall of shame and Head Of Charity Backed By NFL Apologizes For Dreadlock Cutting and other similar stories. None of these was specific to uncovering an unhappy customer.

Our next approach was to get a list of the "must-read" magazines for non-profit professionals. The article we found gave us a list of the ten top publications. We did site-specific searches of each one looking for any information on recovering customers or dealing with bad experiences. In doing a deep dive into these sites, we found that in at least two of them, customer service had not been mentioned since 2012 and 2013. In The NonProfit Times, a 2014 article positioned customer service as "Striving to provide exemplary service, i.e., stewardship, to their donors". The one piece we did find on improving customer services included the instruction to "fax" the donor. At this point, we concluded that if non-profits have unhappy customers, there is no recent information about them available in the public domain.
of four

Customer Experience Recovery Tactics - 3

A creative way customer-centric businesses recover customers with unhappy experiences includes offering omnichannel support (an excellent range of support options). An innovative approach is providing a free-of-charge repair service when necessary to win a customer for a lifetime. Another creative way to recover unhappy customers is apologizing no matter what the situation is while trying to resolve the issue.


  • Dell corporation utilizes a "customer-centric approach" to deliver its products and services. Dell empowers its customers to use technology in realizing their dreams. Several customers trust Dell for technology solutions that enable them to do and achieve more at home, school, work, or anywhere in their world.
  • Dell offers several mid-market IT transformation products such as desktops, precision workstations, servers (rack-mounted, tower, and modular infrastructure servers), among other products. Dell also offers data storage solutions, hyper-converged infrastructural solutions, cloud, as well as data protection solutions.
  • Dell utilizes an approach to address issues raised by unhappy customers. It offers customers a select category of support options, which makes it one of the top-ranked companies tested in resolving customer challenges.
  • According to Laptop Magazine, based on web and phone-based support, Dell comes 3rd position (with 78 points) ahead of Samsung, Asus, Acer, HP, Microsoft, Huawei, Lenovo, and MSI in resolving challenges faced by its consumers. Only Apple (91 points) and Razer (88 points) are rated ahead of Dell in customer service delivery and incidence resolution.
  • To recover customers who have had unhappy experiences, Dell maintains an omnichannel, including web-based and phone-based channels. Dell provides 24 hours a day, seven days a week phone support for all customers covered by warranty. It also offers customer support via Facebook and Twitter.
  • Dell also maintains a web-based forum where its administrators attend to customers with unhappy experiences. Challenges resolved on this forum include customer complaints/issues such as the "worst buying experience ever," "frustrating online order," and technical issues.
  • Omnichannel strategies give the audience of an organization a consistent and integrated brand experience. This experience is integrated because, wherever they look for help, the brand is there.


  • The owner of a Dell Inspiron 15 3000 with an unhappy experience recently tested Dell's support by demanding three questions via the phone, one through web chat and two via social media (one through Facebook and one on Twitter.)
  • Before contacting an agent, the user researched Dell's website for solutions. The website, which had over 5,000 manuals and documents, was easy to navigate.
  • Dell does not provide a mobile support app for its consumers. However, Dell delivers a Mobile Connect app. This app provided a channel that allows Dell customer support staff to remotely take over the control of the unhappy customers' device to resolve the challenge.
  • After exhausting other avenues to resolve a challenge, Dell leverages technology to help unhappy customers remotely configure their devices. This strategy makes consumers who do not have the technical expertise regain confidence in Dell. It also allows Dell to run diagnostic tests to ensure that device drivers are updated.
  • The above approach makes Dell a credible company when it comes to retaining customers with unhappy experiences. It is rated 3rd position (with 78 points) ahead of Samsung, Asus, Acer, HP, Microsoft, Huawei, Lenovo, and MSI in resolving challenges faced by its consumers.


  • Timex manufactures wristwatches. The company gives its customers unique experiences by allowing them to customize their watch orders with personalized free engravings/messages.
  • Timex is a customer-centric business organization. It gives its customer service reps the leeway to put things right for customers who encounter an unusual circumstance.


  • Michael O'Neal, the longtime owner of a Timex watch, broke the watch leading to an unfortunate experience. While riding a bike, Mike was involved in a hit-and-run accident, and also broke a collarbone.
  • Mike was not looking for sympathy, but a solution, and emailed Timex's customer service for an estimate on how to get the watch fixed.
  • To Mike's surprise, a Timex replied him that they are sure he had enough to worry about after the accident. And the challenge of getting his watch repaired shouldn't "be one of them." Timex offered to repair or replace the watch at no charge.
  • According to HelpScout, the excellent decision of Timex customer service won Mike as a customer for life. Hopefully, it serves as an inspiration for other businesses. It shows how customer service can handle "out of the ordinary circumstances" similar to this via email.


  • Proposify helps its customers to build a one-stop overview of their various client lists. The B2B company helps its customers (other business organizations) to build client-centric databases to include addresses, contact information, and other client-focused custom variables.
  • Proposify is a SaaS company whose product assist people in preparing super-polished proposals.
  • Proposify resolves challenges facing unhappy customers through direct messaging and web forum based communications (such as Tweets).


  • Proposify recently received a Tweet from "a less-than-pleased customer."
  • The customer had a genuine complaint, and the frustration led to a complaint that was put forward in a sarcastic Tweet. This angry comment was completely understandable. However, it was easy to suspect that the customer was looking to shame Proposify publicly.
  • In line with best practices, Proposify customer service team apologized, "no matter what." They did not try to defend themselves, as that would only make them look bad. They tried to resolve the issue.
  • Proposify has an established personality, and they didn't hide it in this instance. The customer's Tweet was snippy. Proposify customer service responded accordingly by demanding to know if the tweet was "looking to shame" publicly.
  • However, they did not stop at the tweet. The customer care representative also sent a direct message to the customer immediately after responding. The customer service asked questions for further clarification and offered to help resolve the issue after the question was clarified.
  • The customer service representative Kyle did a great job and explained why the particular feature the customer required didn't work in a manner the customer wanted it. They didn't just say that it doesn't work. Kyle also stayed positive and complimented the customer's ideas. Note that Kyle didn't necessarily promise to add these features.
  • According to Groovehq, Kyle's tone firmly made it clear that the manner the customer communicated their concern wasn't the most effective method. With the smart response, there was no need for a refund, as the customer also never asked for one.
  • After the one-on-one (direct) contact, the customer went back to Twitter and confessed to being amazed at how the customer service of Proposify is. According to Groovehq web, this example clearly shows that there is "hope for angry customers."


The research included customer satisfaction and incidence resolution reports published by LaptopMag, Goovehq web, etc. An investigation was performed to uncover creative ways customer-centric businesses recover customers with unhappy experiences. Insights obtained from Dell's website revealed that it is a customer-centric organization. The study also assumes that since Proposify helps its customers build client-centric databases, it is customer-centric. Proposify also seeks to help its consumers by providing support to them during project implementation (this also suggests that Proposify is consumer-centric). Timex offers customized and personalized services for its customers; therefore, the study assumes it is customer-centric.
of four

Customer Experience Recovery Tactics - 2

Three businesses have creatively solved problems for unhappy customers are OB Tampons, General Motors, and Southwest Airlines.


  • OB Tampons is a non-applicator tampon company that is known for providing extremely personalized engagement and solutions to their customers.
  • When the company's supply chain issues caused their products to disappear from store shelves, the company went above and beyond to please their customers.
  • They created personalized apology songs and videos to each of the 65,010 female customers in their database.
  • Each customer received an email connecting them to their own personalized song and video.
  • At the end of each video, each customer also received a coupon that provided them discounts on subsequent purchases. Users were also invited to share their videos with friends.
  • The customers were very happy and even more loyal to the company, and the company got a lot of positive press coverage and an improved brand image for their efforts.

General Motors

Southwest Airlines

  • Southwest Airlines is a major American airline and a very large low-cost carrier that provides an extremely personal touch and goes above and beyond to ensure that customers are happy.
  • A Southwest passenger named Stacy Hurt flew to her home in Pittsburgh for a colon cancer chemotherapy session and discovered that her luggage, which contained her rosary, lucky t-shirt and important medication, didn’t make the trip.
  • Stacy was able to reach a Southwest employee named Sarah to explain what had happened. Sarah drove herself to Stacy's house at around 2 a.m. so that Stacy would have everything she needed for her 9 a.m. appointment.
  • Sarah left the bag on Stacy's porch with a personalized note that thanked her for her patience and wished her well in recovery. The story made national headlines.
of four

Customer Experience Recovery Tactics - 1

Two creative examples about exceptional customer service tactics used by customer-centric brands to mend relationships with unsatisfied customers include KFC and OB Tampons. The "FCK" apology campaign reached more than 1.2 billion people worldwide, while OB Tampon's "Just For You" campaign resulted in an increase of brand revenue by 31%.


  • KFC is a global QSR brand serving quality chicken products across 21,000 outlets in more than 130 countries and is a consumer-centric company guided by the three principles, humility, humor, and honesty. It communicates with its audience at a mass-scale with utmost transparency.
  • KFC is the third-largest QSR in the US that serves nearly 12 million customers every day. The four strategic pillars of KFC include service, quality, cleanliness, and value.
  • The company's website features a customer feedback form asking about their service experience at any specific KFC outlet across the world.
  • In February 2018, due to a distribution problem, the company was unable to source chicken for its restaurants. Further, the company had to temporarily shut down more than 900 restaurants in the UK.
  • The chicken shortage led to a huge consumer uproar, and police had to be roped in for controlling the situation.
  • On the first day of shortage, there were more than 53,000 mentions about the 'chicken crisis' on social media.
  • The company published a public apology across newspapers in the UK featuring a full-page humorous ad with an empty signature chicken bucket highlighting a re-worked logo “FCK.”
  • The newspaper ad enabled the company to explain the problem and vowed never to repeat it.
  • The eye-catching and creative apology by the company grabbed the attention of more than six million consumers due to its honest and humorous nature.
  • On the third day of shortage, the campaign managed to reach 797 million people across the world, with 700 press mentions. Additionally, the "FCK" managed to grab the attention of more than 219 million people on social media.
  • KFC bagged the Golden Lion award at Cannes in 2018 for its PR and print apology campaign. Adweek and Campaign published a case study for the clever efforts by the company's management team.
  • This is the link to the campaign case study.


  • The brand was launched nearly 70 years ago by gynecologist Dr. Judith Esser. OB Tampons is currently owned by EdgeWell and commands a high consumer preference.
  • OB Tampons features a team of board-certified gynecologists and researchers that develops innovative, safe, and effective women care products.
  • OB Tampons is a customer-centric brand that features FAQs and customer reviews for every SKU on its website. Additionally, the company proactively responds to customer queries and feedback.
  • The tampons are made from 100% organic cotton and 90% renewable raw materials; its products feature "elemental chlorine-free" bleaching process to eliminate the production of dioxins.
  • In 2010, the brand abruptly withdrew its products off the shelf due to supply issues. To win its customers, the company developed a personalized apology song and sent it across 65,010 women with their names in the song.
  • The brand created personalized videos featuring 10,000 unique names that the customers could share on their social media profiles.
  • The campaign grabbed more than 600,000 unique views within 10 days of launch. Overall, the campaign grabbed more than 24.49 million views, 920,107 coupon downloads, 1.8 million Twitter impressions, 1.0 million Facebook shares, and a 31% increase in revenue.
  • OB Tampon's apology campaign bagged the Bronze Lion Award for PR at Cannes, followed by another five Gold CMA Awards.
  • This is the link to the campaign creatives.


We started our research by identifying any pre-compiled list of specific examples about customer-centric brands that have gone above and beyond to repair relationships with unsatisfied customers. We referred to credible media publications like Forbes, Adweek, Campaign, AdForum, Strategy, among others. From there, we chose two global customer-centric brands to focus on, which were KFC and OB Tampons.


From Part 01
  • "They are the best, most reliable, and most popular magazines/newspapers/journals out there. Many of these publications appear in print, but they also have online versions. And many provide email newsletters and blog posts. High profile publications like these also offer an abundance of multimedia information, including books. webinars, and conferences. "