Mistakes are common and everyone makes them now and then. As a business that relies on great customer service, the ability to properly and efficiently apologise for your mistakes is a great asset, and can actually enhance customer relationships. Here are 5 tips on how to apologise for your mistakes:
1. Act quickly
Acting quickly will limit the damage done. If your customer sees that you have acknowledged the problem straight away, they are less likely to complain.
2. Tell them what happened and solve the problem
Do this as honestly as possible. Customers understand that you are only human and will appreciate the truth much more than being lied to. Give them the facts, don’t blame anyone and make sure you offer a solution to the problem if possible.
3. Apologise in person
This isn’t always possible, but making the effort to apologise face-to-face will mean a lot more to the customer than receiving an apology over the phone or via email.
4. Explain how you are going to learn from your mistakes
The only advantage of mistakes is that they highlight where you can improve. Explain how you feel about your error, and show that you genuinely care about the discomfort that the customer has experienced.
Sometimes you will need to compensate your customers for your mistake. This is fine when it is appropriate to do so – offering too much compensation can have a negative effect on customer loyalty.
Apologising can be difficult, but the failure to do so will have a much bigger consequence than plucking up the courage to admit that you were wrong. Honesty is the best policy when apologising, and will give you a better chance of retaining your customers.
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