Are Your Apologies Actually Provoking Clients to Leave?
Apologizing is an art form that is the backbone of customer service when things take a turn for the worst. Yet, many people don’t know how to effectively apologize to their customers, therefore potentially jeopardizing that business relationship. Clare Lynch, writing for Ragan, offers three tips on how to best overcome a streak of bad apologies.
Cut to the Chase
If you’re beginning an apology email or phone call with a filler introduction about how much clients mean to you and your company and how you do everything in your power to make them happy, you’re not making the bad news you’re about to tell the client any easier. All you’re doing is stalling. Your client, “…doesn’t have time for a load of bland, we-focused corporate throat-clearing — and they can sense the inevitable being delayed,” says Lynch. Tell it to your clients straight and you’ll present yourself as someone who gets things done quickly instead of someone who gets scared and doesn’t know what to do when things go wrong.
Say it Like You Mean It
Remember being forced to apologize to your siblings and/or classmates growing up? Your insincerity could be heard from a mile away by your tone of voice and the fact that you only said the bare minimum of what was expected of you. The same is true of apology emails and calls. If you sound bored and as if you’re reading from a script while you’re apologizing over the phone, or if your apology email seems copied and pasted, you’re going to seem as if you don’t actually care. Have a conversation with the client. Talk to them as if you’re apologizing to a friend, showcasing your humanity and sincerity through the way you’re personalizing that interaction. If you don’t, you’ll probably anger that client even more and can cause them to take their business elsewhere.
What’s the final tip? You’ll have to read Lynch’s post to find out.