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Sorry, maybe

Most apologies (especially from big brands) miss the opportunity to serve clients when resolving an issue. 

Apart from resolving the issue, they also make a statement apologizing with a tiny detail that undermines the apology. 

That one sentence in the statement often reads as:

  1. We apologize for any inconvenience caused.
  2. We apologize in case you have been inconvenienced.
  3. We apologize if we have caused any inconvenience.

When brands cause an issue, typically the customer:

  1. Incurs a negative experience and definite inconvenience
  2. Takes the time to register a complaint with customer support – and we all know how long and arduous that can be sometimes
  3. Often has to provide additional information and wait for a resolution

The customer is powerless except to complain and hope that common sense and justice prevails.

Customer service is almost always trying to resolve the inconvenience that has been caused. 

Why should the apology then cast doubt by saying “in case/if any” inconvenience has been caused?

The inconvenience has definitely been caused, which is why support has been summoned.

Admit that fact and start from the inconvenience because that’s where the prospect is. 

Respond instead with:

“You matter to us. 

What happened from our side was unacceptable and we apologize for the inconvenience caused. We have now resolved the issue and strengthened our processes to ensure this error will not be repeated. 

Thank you for your patience and loyalty as we look forward to the opportunity to serve you in the future.”

Takeaway

Without customer empathy, customer service is just issue resolution. Without empathy, we cannot serve humans.

Let me know how you apologize to your customers. 

Thank your customer for complaining and mean it. Most will never bother to complain. They’ll just walk away.

Marilyn Suttle

Kurian Babykutty

CEO, 40 Parables

Kurian's a steward of storytelling and a keen observer of people, which is why he geeks out on making marketing meaningful.

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