Companies that are beloved don’t take apologizing as admitting defeat. It’s part of the journey toward becoming a better company.
Apologizing well for operational gaffes, service blunders, and widespread missteps drives company prosperity because these apologies, when done well, strengthen the bond between customer and company. The apology defines the people inside the company, their values and who they are.
In a thoughtful and well-executed apology, the focus is on the people impacted and the human connection with them. It is all about restoring and preserving the relationship.
Customers feel they have been honored and acknowledged. Companies continue to prosper. These solutions appeal to the natural order of humanity. They become a peace process where both sides win.
The apology peace process between companies and customers is comprised of five actions that signal to customers that they are important and that someone is looking after them:
- Deliver a swift response.
- Show humility and empathy for what the customer is experiencing.
- Accept accountability.
- Provide an honest explanation of what happened and a commitment to improve.
- Extend an olive branch—to right the situation and mend the relationship.