My bad

Nearly every legitimate customer complaint could be turned around right away with an immediate, forceful reply:

This shouldn’t have happened.

I’m sorry.

It was our mistake.

I’m going to fix it right now and make things better than they were before.

In other words, “I feel as bad about this as you do, because I care as deeply as you do – or more – about keeping the promise I’ve made to you as a customer.”

The power to diffuse comes from your definitive and quick response, which is only possible when the person hearing the complaint has the power to make things right.

Once a complaint has gone through four levels of escalation, no matter what you do it’s too late.


3 thoughts on “My bad

  1. So true! Though, sometimes the individual is not able to provide an *immediate* fix to the root problem and that can be difficult to communicate. It’s something like: “I know the process that led to this bad experience is broken; it bothers me that it’s broken and I feel terrible about providing a bad experience; I’m working really hard to fix it; BUT it’s really complicated stuff and realistically is going to take us some time to get it right. Please stick with us while we work through it!” We’re experiencing some of these growing pains right now… lots of apologies, lots of assurance that we are trying our best to fix, but difficult to win back the trust.

  2. Good one. Just experienced two similar situations, but on very different scales. Delta: delayed flight. Put daughter on nonstop to Boston, put snacks and drinks in lounge, frequent updates, and a survey to report our feelings. Good job. NY Times delivery service: sent Post (?) instead of Sunday Times. Immediately sent Times, even tho I told them I borrowed my neighbor’s copy.

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