Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Heartfelt Apology

Sometimes I feel as though I’m one of those people that likes to nitpick. I’m so fixated on customer service and get so disappointed when it doesn’t live up to even basic standards that I’m often “whinging” about the dodgy hotel experience I had or the conference I attended that did such and such.

I almost think that sometimes I’m a little programmed to see the wrong, which is why it was so nice that a bad service experience yesterday turned into something kinda great.

I’d emailed a property manager to meet my husband at a property at 1.00pm amongst a whole swag of other things, they’d confirmed with “all done”. At 1.13pm I got a call from my husband – no-one had been there to meet him. I called to chase up and long story short, the property manager hadn’t read the part of my email about the appointment.

Her boss apologised to myself and my husband which was fine, but the thing that had me leave the experience with an uplifted feeling was her apology to me on the phone. It was heartfelt. It was genuine. She didn’t offer any excuses. She just assured me that it wouldn’t happen again and took her lumps. She then followed it up with a further email.

We’re human. We mess up. All of us (I know I certainly do!). It’s what you do when you mess up that determines how that relationship will progress.

Option number 1 is:

1. Own it
2. Convey your apology in a heartfelt way
3. Put a plan in place so that it doesn’t happen again

You easily have the power to turn a bad experience into a positive. Where you run into trouble is if you follow the dodgy conflict resolution strategy of Option 2:

1. Bury it
2. Deny it
3. Shift the blame

The next time you mess up – and we know it will happen – what 3 steps will you decide to do?

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By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments


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