No one's perfect, as the saying goes. However, that doesn't mean customers don't expect franchises and service providers to meet their every expectations. From customer service to product performance, owners of a franchise opportunity must meet consumer demands to achieve success.

Despite high expectations, franchisees do flub from time to time, making it necessary for them to have processes in place to rectify any problems and keep customers loyal and satisfied.

"Every organization, no matter how good it is or how awesome its service, makes mistakes," John Tschohl explains in an article for Franchising.com. "It's how employees handle those mistakes that determines the level of service the organization provides and the loyalty that service instills in its customers."

For example, Tschohl illustrates his point by describing two different reactions at a restaurant. When confronted with a complaining customers, the first server, Mary, chose only to say, "We're very busy tonight." In the second situation, though, the server decided to confront a customer who was unsatisfied with his or her meal by offering him or her complementary dessert.

The second situation is what Tschohl means by service recovery, demonstrating to consumers that they and their business are valued.

"Service recovery means doing whatever it takes to solve a customer's problem - and doing it quickly," Tschohl writes. "Most companies, not only in the United States but throughout the world, don't know what service recovery is, or the impact it can have on their bottom lines."

There are a few aspects to service recovery, beginning with acting quickly. When a company or employee can handle a problem within just a few minutes, it not only promotes customer loyalty, but saves a company the time it would take to handle an official complaint.

To do so, though, franchisees must empower their employees, giving them the tools and authority to handle a customer's issues. This way, employees can easily take responsibility for the problem and offer "low cost but high value" compensation.

"Service recovery means providing service that is so amazing that the customer tells everyone she knows about it," says Tschocl. "That word-of-mouth advertising is cheap and powerful and will bring more customers - and their money - through your doors."

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