When you own a business, customer service should be one of the most important areas to focus on. You want your customers to feel trusting and cared for; this is the job of your customer service department.
If a mistake as been made or a problem needs to be fixed, apologizing to your customers can be the first step on the road to redemption – but only if you’re apologizing correctly. When you’re saying sorry, you want to be sure you’re sending out sincere emotions and feelings to whoever is on the receiving end of the apology. Your customers that were wronged want to know that you truly agree with them and you are going to fix their issue.
The Power Of “I’m Sorry”
When you’re in a romantic relationship and you get into a fight, if your partner apologizes first it takes a load off of your shoulders, provides you with relief and makes you feel better.
Your relationship with your customers should be no different – minus the intimacy, of course. The customer wants to know that you empathize with their situation regardless of who was truly at fault. As a customer, they want to be shown that their business matters and is important enough to save.
When a consumer calls a customer service line, they know what they’re in for – a semi-sincere apology, a computer-read response and a gift card or refund for their time. They know that the customer service department is simply doing their job, but when they call a customer service representative who is sincere, shows real feelings of concern and is genuinely apologetic, the resolution can come quicker and the customer will feel twice as trusting as before.
How To Apologize
So how exactly can you apologize wrong?
Think back to your last customer service call – whatever the issue or problem was, what was it the customer representative said to you? “I’m sorry you feel that way” or “I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with this issue.” Did they sincerely apologize or admit fault or were they reading a computer generated response to the closest situation resembling yours?
Don’t blame the customer for having an issue with your products or services! Showing sincerity can immediately tell the customer that you were wrong or your company made the mistake; not vice versa. Some better options could be:
• “I’m so sorry that I didn’t solve your issue. Let’s try to find a better solution.”
• “I apologize for causing you an inconvenience; let me get an answer from my supervisor so that your problem can be resolved immediately.”
• “I’m sorry we made you feel that way. I can understand why you’re upset.”
Implementing A Plan
If you’re losing customers because of poor customer service, try creating a new plan with your customer service employees.
Give them example scenarios of angry customers but allow them to generate their own responses. The employee is aware that it truly isn’t their fault, but admitting fault can help soften a situation and end the phone call with a satisfied customer.
Holding a meeting or allowing your employees to create their own responses can help you implement these answers into the template or program you may already use for your customer service department. Instead of reading “I’m sorry you feel that way” off of their screen, they can read one of their own, personalized responses.
Excellent customer service should be one of the primary focuses you have as a startup founder. Getting the best advice can help you successfully launch a startup so be sure to sign up for your free subscription to Successful Startup 101.