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October 24, 2008

Two Powerful Words: I’m Sorry

Brenda Haines | Customer Experience DesignIf you do something that makes a customer angry or upset, I’ve learned there are two powerful words you can use: I’m sorry.

In my experience, an ‘I’m sorry’ is more effective than explanations or blame, especially when paired with ‘What can I do to make this right?’

Admittedly, these can be tough words to say. Maybe that’s why an apology has so much impact. Or, maybe it’s because apologies humanize the situation. They shift the focus to repairing the relationship and let you and your customer develop a workable solution together.

I’ve seen opportunities pass, where an ‘I’m sorry’ would’ve worked beautifully. But, instead, customers were told to ‘suck it up and move on.’ Usually, they are all too happy to take that advice.