When sorry isn’t enough


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Whilst reading my book over the weekend I overheard my twins quarrelling with each other. The one child apologises to the other for throwing her treasured toy tiger in the dirt. The other responds (slightly belligerently) – “well sorry isn’t good enough” and storms off to her room.
This got me thinking about how often we apologise or receive an apology and whether simply saying sorry is enough.

In the context of customer experience management we need to consider how we apologise to our clients when we mess up – and let’s face it we all mess up, it’s how we recover that’s important.

While I believe empathy in saying you’re sorry is important, the words need to be backed up with actions.

The question is: are the recovery actions your company takes random, consistent or at the discretion of the service delivery agent? What is the closed loop to ensure we learn from our mistakes?

My suggestion is to invest time thinking about the desired outcomes for your customers and the organisation and design a set of guided actions to achieve these outcomes. Whichever way you look at it, there is only an upside: poor experiences are turned into great ones leading to more loyal customers and internally processes can be continuously improved and slip-ups avoided in future (a journey to customer excellence).


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