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When an Apology May Not Be Enough

October 2, 2013

Daily ReadWhen an Apology May Not Be Enough

Occasionally it happens – you get an irate customer who’s had a bad experience with your company. You don’t want to lose them as a client, and you don’t want to upset other clients who may hear or read about the situation. If your client is angry at your company, you must do much more than just apologize. Here’s why and how:

  1. Apologize and probe for details. If all you do is apologize, the problem remains in the air and the customer will remain skeptical.  Therefore, you must figure out in depth, what happened (it’s okay to ask!).
  2. Diagnose the entire problem. Continue to ask questions until you understand exactly what happened.  There are four reasons the diagnosis is essential: 1. The customer needs to feel they’ve been heard; 2. You have to understand what happened to be able to reassure them it won’t happen again; 3. You may actually discover part of the fault lies with the customer; 4. You may discover that the customer is completely at fault and a total pain to work with and thus not worth the effort to cultivate any further.
  3. Devise an action plan. If you decide to move forward with the customer, create a step-by-step process that will ensure that the problem doesn’t recur. This process should consist of two parts: 1) what you plan to do differently and 2) what you need the customer to do differently, if the customer was partly at fault.

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From → Daily Reads

  1. Jeff this is awesome and can work for sure if the irate customer calms down long enough to listen…no one likes to be yelled at and cursed at and disrespected…which is usually the case because it accompanies irate behavior.


    • Glad you found it helpful! You’re right! It can take a large amount of patience and some very kind words to reach an irate customer, but it is worthwhile.


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