They can tell if you don’t.
A heartfelt apology with a corresponding change in behavior, policy, procedure or action, will go a long way to help repair the breach of trust and indicate to your customer that you really care.
But the word “sorry” is just a word.
By itself, it doesn’t feel genuine. It doesn’t feel real, and your customers know this.
[tweetthis]There is an art to apologizing.[/tweetthis]
A heartfelt apology – one that follows the formula below – can go a long way to building trust with your customer base, and maybe even help you avoid the negative word-of-mouth tsunami that could potentially occur on social media because of your actions or inaction.
- Start the apology with the words, “I’m sorry.”
- Acknowledge what your actions, policies, procedures, etc. have done to hurt or inconvenience others. Empathizing with your customers in this manner shows them a higher level of understanding and support.
- Acknowledge how you, too, have been affected (personal shame, loss of customers, brand damage, etc.).
- Accept the blame and responsibility.
- Change the offending behavior, policies, procedures or actions to regain your customers’ trust. Do the right thing to fix the problem, otherwise the apology is hollow.
Look for moments in your relationship with your customers in which it might be helpful to apologize. Was a shipment late? Did you make a customer hold for too long? Did one of your employees offer inaccurate product or service information? These are all times when apologizing can acknowledge how much you value your customer’s business. It’s even more impactful if you offer the apology even before the customer has a chance to complain to you.
How do you indicate to your customers that you are truly sorry?
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