HOW TO APOLOGISE GRACEFULLY TO CUSTOMER
No matter how hard we try in business we’re only human and we’re not going to get things right every time. Apologising is often not an easy thing to do and, in many instances, such as dealing with customers who are unhappy with what they perceive as poor service, any apology is possibly going to fall on deaf ears and it’s also important to remember that you may be the victim of someone who’s either simply having a bad day themselves or are so fussy about certain aspects of your product or service that they feel an urgent need to complain, whilst hundreds of other customers may have been perfectly satisfied with the level of service or standard of product they’ve bought from you. Therefore, this article aims to deal with both how you would go about making an apology to a customer and also to somebody you’ve slighted in some way where you’re fully aware that an apology is necessary.
1. If all goes well when you speak with her, you’ll get your friendship back on course. If the conversation doesn’t go as planned, well — the relationship hasn’t been great lately anyway, notes Marla Paul, author of The Friendship Crisis: Finding, Making and Keeping Friends When You’re Not a Kid Anymore. Either way, “It will feel really good to apologize for something you’ve been feeling guilty about,” Paul says.
2. You must accept your responsibility and that you and/or your company are to blame without any reservations in doing so. Taking responsibility is one thing but that is not the same as admitting you were wrong. If you try to pass the buck or foist the blame on to somebody else, then an apology is once again going to seem meaningless if you insist that you did nothing wrong or if you give that impression.
3. Every apology needs to start with two magic words: “I’m sorry,” or “I apologize.” This is essential, because these words express remorse over your actions. For example, you could say: “I’m sorry that I snapped at you yesterday. I feel embarrassed and ashamed by the way I acted.”Your words need to be sincere and authentic . Be honest with yourself, and with the other person, about why you want to apologize. Never make an apology when you have ulterior motives, or if you see it as a means to an end.
4. Be positive, then get to the negative stuff, then be positive again. Once you’re calmer, ask your boss for a few minutes of her time. Begin with a remark that ties you to the company in a good light, such as, “I’m really excited about the projects I’m working on these days.” Next, while looking your boss in the eye (no acting like you have anything to hide or be ashamed of), add: “I made a mistake, however. Then, offer a solution you’ve thought of, or say, “Although I can’t fix this at the moment, I can do X extra work to make amends.”