This is a guest post from Jeanne Bliss — customer experience expert and author of “I Love You More Than My Dog.” See the original post this is adapted from and more like it on her blog.

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.

Read More: Five Actions Worth Repeating – The Peace Apology Process

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About Jeanne Bliss

As “Chief Customer Officer” for Lands’ End, Mazda, Coldwell Banker, Allstate, and Microsoft, Jeanne got “customer” on the strategic agenda, earned 98% loyalty rates, and changed experiences across 50,000-person operations. Jeanne now runs CustomerBliss to create an actionable path for profitability and business growth -- through earning customer and employee raves. Her best-selling books are Chief Customer Officer and I Love You More than My Dog: Five Decisions that Drive

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