I don’t care if you run a mom and pop diner or a Fortune 500 company, customer service is always your first line of defense. And what’s the biggest weapon your defense has? Empathy. The ability to say I’m sorry. I know how you feel. Let me fix that for you.
Your customers expect to have a good experience — not just from beginning to end but when things go wrong too.
When a customer or client has a problem, formalities should take a back seat. The person on the other end of the line or the other side of the counter doesn’t care about company protocol. They don’t care if you have the proper form in front of you or if they wrote down the confirmation number. All they want is for you to fix it and the best way to do that is starting with a simple, “I’m sorry” or as Seth Godin suggests:
“It sounds like we’ve got a situation on our hands…”
He also writes, this is a “fine way to disarm the person you’re about to talk with. He won’t have to spend the first six sentences expressing his anger and urgency, because in less than ten words, you’ve done it for him. Or perhaps, “I’d like to help, if you’ll bring me up to speed…”
Don’t show up to the battlefield of business empty handed. Learn how to say, “I’m sorry…”