Apologies that Win Customers Back

This column is authored by Valentina Grishkevich, Customer Service Manager at Dream Support

customers apologiesApologizing is a tricky task as it is hard to make you feel sincere over email/Facebook message/chat. It becomes even harder when you need to tell him that your company is unable to grant his request. Below are some tips that can help you with the matter.

See the cause behind the anger

People can get upset and even angry before they reach out for your assistance. This happens mainly because they are afraid you might ignore them. If you encounter aggressive client, try to step into his shoes and understand what he actually feels. Acknowledging the problem and reassuring him about your understanding of the issue is key. Find the words to fight customer’s fear of bad service, and move on with the apology. It will look much more genuine.

In most cases you want to avoid formal vibe and opt in for simple yet powerful words of empathy. Switch “apologize” for “sorry” to make your reply more personal. Forget widely used expressions and craft a unique personal message.

customer service apologies

Admit your mistake

If you or your company made a mistake that led to the angry customer, you should admit it. Same as with interpersonal relations, you don’t be afraid to take responsibility. Besides, this gesture carries a very personal vibe, converting B2C interaction into a person-to-person conversation.

Moreover, you should always remain a person behind the brand. Even when you apologize for the company mistake in general, stay yourself and sign your message with a human name, not a company property.

If the customer’s complaint made you rethink and improve your customer service, thank him for bringing it up. It’s a good opportunity to improve your services and see how your brand performs from a new perspective. And it compliments people when they find out their input led to good changes.

customer service apologies

Avoid the trap

There are several things about apologizing that can put you in a shaky position. You should avoid:

  • Apologizing too much
    Words lose their power when repeated many times. So a single “sorry” provides more impact than a dozen of them.
  • Accusing the customer
    An obvious mistake that will only escalate the conflict. You can defend your brand and reputation without directly accusing your client of doing something wrong.
  • Making unrealistic promises
    Do not promise something you cannot do. Always evaluate the situation and your available resources.
  • Claiming the issue to be impossible
    Even if no one else has ever encountered said problem, one customer is bringing it up to your judgement. Saying “it is impossible” and “no one else have experienced this” is simply denying your customer’s frustration.
  • Using cliche words
    Obviously enough, standard constructions like “We’re sorry for the inconvenience” are too common and do not sound sincere at all. Apologies is the kind of messages that should not be templated. Write a genuine text every time, and this’ll keep it appealing.
  • Building a distance between you and the problem
    Be decisive and sincere with the customer. Do not use vague constructions like “the problem may have occurred”. The problem has occurred, and diplomatic wording will only fuel customer’s frustration.


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