How to apologize to customers without alienating employees


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In customer service, the key to an effective apology is to convey to the customer at the outset that you’re willing to take his side and share his viewpoint.

And yet, when employees overhear a manager taking the customer’s side, don’t expect them to be thrilled. (”Does my boss blame me? Does she actually believe that idiot’s version of what happened?”)

This is a natural employee reaction, assuming you haven’t inoculated your staff ahead of time. Which you should be sure to do.

The onus is on the manager here to preemptively convey to employees that whoever speaks with an upset customer is going to empathize with and even amplify the customer’s side of the story, during that important conversation. Because this is the first, and most important, step toward getting back on the right foot with a customer.

Take time with your staff to explain that the customer may or may not be right in an objective sense. Regardless, whoever is speaking with the customer needs to convey complete, even disproportionate sympathy with the customer’s viewpoint because the customer is our boss—the customer pays our paychecks.

Human nature being what it is, this explanation will bear repeating.


Republished with author's permission from original post.

Micah Solomon
Micah Solomon is a customer service consultant and trainer who works with companies to transform their level of customer service and customer experience. The author of five books, his expertise has been featured in Forbes, Fast Company, NBC and ABC television programming, and elsewhere. "Micah Solomon conveys an up-to-the minute and deeply practical take on customer service, business success, and the twin importance of people and technology." –Steve Wozniak, Apple co-founder.


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