Remember when you were a kid and your brother or sister punched or pinched you? Sure, he or she apologized but it didn’t mean much. Why?
(a) Your parent was usually prompting the words.
(b) You received an apology too many times before, just to be punched again another day.
Apologies to customers get tossed about just as freely when things go wrong.
But there’s more to an apology than “I’m sorry,” there’s a foundation that supports it and actions that repair the emotional connection. Does your apology have the essential components that give it meaning?
You are nimble in your recovery.
As soon as you know of a service failure, you inform customers and prepare a swift recovery.
You are accountable and responsible.
When failures occur, you act decisively and in the customer’s best interest.
Your employees “rescue” customers.
You have motivated and equipped the frontline to think on their feet for customers in distress.
Your tough times can be a shining moment.
You have created an environment in which everyone knows and has permission to do the right thing for the customer.
You learn from your mistakes.
Mistakes are rigorously evaluated and understood. You change the actions and behavior that cause them.
That’s what your customers expect and deserve.