Ask Yourself: Question Of The Day
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 

How Do You Apologize?


“I’m sorry”
doesn’t get you very far in a conversation…

Yet, whenever I run Customer Service Recovery (CSR)
scenarios with front line representatives, this is the top phrase I hear the

An ex-girlfriend once said to me after I apologized,
“Michael, sorry is a promise you can’t keep.” This one single statement stuck
with me and influenced how I teach customer service (and how to interact in my

Look… they don’t care how much you know, until they know how
much you care. Saying “I’m sorry” or “I understand” are default ways to appease
an upset person.

Try a reflective phrase instead.

“That must put a lot of stress on you…”
“That is going to cost you time and money…”
“If that were me, I’d be furious…”
“That’s horrible…”

These responses make recipients think, “Yeah! You get me!
Once they feel they are understood, you can truly start to resolve the problem
and move forward.

The nifty part about this is that it works for romance, friendships,
family, the crazy guy on the subway, the waiter and your customers. It’s simply
human to want to be understood.

As you interact with people who are going to help make your
passion projects come to life, keep this simple Human to Human concept in mind.  

Try it at least once today… Let me know if you see a difference
in your interactions. I promise you will.

How Do You Apologize?


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