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Apology Do’s & Don’ts

So let’s talk about a topic most of us would like to avoid: apologizing. All of us can relate to this act, whether at home, with friends or with colleagues or customers. We said or did something, or DIDN’T do something, like meet a promised deadline.

When you are apologizing, do be sincere. Do NOT try and blame the customer. Apologizing correctly means that you’re addressing the issue, versus dodging or minimizing it. Make sure that you’re telling the customer that you recognize what went wrong. OWN IT.

No Big Deal, Right?? WRONG…

“Well, it’s really no big deal,” will trivialize the issue that is likely and rightfully important to your customer. He or she may have been called to the carpet by their leadership or manager for what you did or didn’t do. You don’t know, so don’t assume.

In the end, we want to actually offer the customer the ability to interact or forgive us—to give us some sort of resolution to this. Do not just try and skate away from it.

A good apology sounds very simple. “Mr. Customer, I’m sorry you spilled the coffee in your lap. I know that ruined your day. It ruined the week. It’s going be really hard to deal with. I hate to think we had anything to do with it, but if we did in any way, we’re going deal with it. In fact, we’re just going deal with it to help you to resolve, either way. It’s important to us that we resolve this issue. I’m so sorry this happened to you. Can you please forgive us for this occurence?”

That’s a very sincere, direct and personal apology. One of the principles here, in a relationship and especially in business, is that this is NOT business. It IS personal. Being personal builds your brand, your effectiveness and your longevity in the industry. This starts with showing that you care enough to accept your responsibility when there’s an apology needed.

I want you to do that because you’ll be more effective. More effective is better because the only thing we can’t make more of us is time, so sell well!

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Dr. Gunter Wessels

Dr. Gunter Wessels

Dr. Gunter Wessels founded LiquidSMARTS℠. He is passionate and dedicated to the improvement of human performance and ethical business practices in sales and marketing. Dr. Wessels leads a global practice that delivers strategic consulting and next-generation personnel development services to individuals and global corporations alike. His expertise comes from more than 25 years in the healthcare industry, including 14 years as a consultant to global and local marketing and sales teams. Dr. Wessels has a Ph.D. in Management with an emphasis in Marketing and Psychology from the University of Arizona, an M.B.A. from the A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management, and a B.S. in Biology from the University of California.

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