Saying sorry isn’t easy. Get tips on how you can apologize without admitting fault. Plus, get insight into how an apology helps to restore customer confidence and regain goodwill.
- We're sorry. These two words can strengthen a customer's bond with your company, leaving them more emotionally connected with you than customers who never experienced a problem. Saying we're sorry to a customer is also a powerful tool to help you disarm an angry customer and put you on the path to positive conversations. But saying sorry isn't easy. People working in customer service have told me, I'll fix the issue, but I'm not apologizing for a problem that isn't my fault. And apologizing is like owning up to the fault, but sometimes the customer is the one at fault. These are important points, yes, but did you know, you can apologize to a customer without assuming fault. I'm going to show you how to use the power of the words we're sorry to disarm angry customers and to strengthen relationships after things go wrong. First, let's get clear. An apology doesn't have to be an admission of fault. And it's not even about placing blame. Here's how to apologize when the problem isn't the company's fault. We're sorry for any frustration you may have experienced. I'm sorry for any inconvenience this misunderstanding may have caused you. We're sorry you had to make this call today. Notice, none of these apologies admit fault. Apologies can be safe. Some of my clients are tempted to hold off on an apology because they think apologizing can open them up for liability. I hear this in the insurance and medical industries a lot, and I've heard this in other fields, but you can safely apologize and get the benefits of creating calm when you keep three things in mind as you apologize. One, state only the facts of the situation. Never share a hunch or your opinion as to what caused the problem. Two, don't assume fault for the mishap and don't blame others. And three, apologize for the impact the situation had on the customer, not the issue itself. For example, I'm sorry for any frustration this may have caused you. If you prefer not to personally apologize because no, you're not responsible for the problem, I get that. Think of apologizing to customers this way. You're working to regain good will on behalf of your company, that's all it is. It's not about you personally apologizing, it's about creating calm and restoring confidence in your brand.