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.

Your apology is your humanity litmus test.

It is unavoidable that at some point, your business will suffer a failure that disappoints customers.

How your company reacts, explains, takes accountability, and removes the pain signals how you think about customers and the collective heart of your organization.

  • How would you rate your ability to accept accountability when things go wrong?
  • How would your customers say you are doing?
  • Does your rescue/recovery plan show a commitment to make customers whole or just get you past the incident?

Grace and wisdom guide decisions of beloved companies toward accepting responsibility and resolving the situation when the chips are down — not accusations and skirting accountability.

When a beloved company apologizes for something that goes wrong, the intent and motivation is to make customers whole — to earn the right to continue the relationship

Repairing the emotional connection with customers in distress can be costly, but beloved companies don’t consider the job done until the emotional connection is restored.

Their genuine apology transforms into an opportunity that enables customers to think, “Who else would respond this way?” They tell others about the positive recovery.

Take Action: Accept ­accountability ­when­ things ­go ­wrong. Identify ­one ­way ­to ­make ­sure ­customers ­don’t ­pay ­for y­our ­mistakes.

Read More: It’s More Than Action, It’s Intent and Motivation

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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