Contingency Planning: Preparing for Potential Customer Issues

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  • 0:06 What Is a Contingency Plan?
  • 1:07 Preparing a Contingency Plan
  • 1:36 Notifying the Customer
  • 2:18 Finding a Solution
  • 2:47 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Savannah Samoszuk

Savannah has over eight years of hotel management experience and has a master's degree in leadership.

In customer service, it is necessary to have a plan in place for potential customer issues. This is called a contingency plan. This lesson will explain what one is and how it should be designed.

What Is a Contingency Plan?

Hotel St. Thomas is a 500-room hotel that runs at a high occupancy everyday. The hotel unexpectedly experienced a power outage and immediately had guests of the hotel calling down to the front desk and coming to the front desk to inquire about what to do. The hotel front desk clerks had never experienced this problem before and did not know what to do.

Every business needs to plan for the unexpected. A contingency plan is preparing for anything that might happen outside of normal everyday operations. While businesses do not want to think about these scenarios happening, they may very well happen, and that is why it is important to have a plan in place. In the example of hotel St. Thomas, if a contingency plan had been in place, the front desk clerks would have been more prepared to handle the power outage.

The contingency plan's purpose is to avoid potential customer issues and be able to return to normal as quickly as possible. The way the business reacts in these situations is what the customers will notice.

Preparing a Contingency Plan

Businesses should think about unexpected events that could affect their customers and put together plans to handle these situations. Even if the business thinks the scenario might not happen, it is important to prepare contingency plans.

The business should start with listing different unexpected scenarios that could occur. Then the business should involve key team members from different departments in the process of preparing the contingency plans. Discussing all the possible worst case scenarios will help in preparing a contingency plan.

Notifying the Customer

Businesses should look at the scenarios listed and determine a plan to address them. Keeping the customer's reactions in mind will be key. The business should think about how the scenario will affect the customer in order to determine how to react to the scenario.

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