5 guidelines to follow

5 guidelines to follow

For a customer support agent, it’s common to receive a mixed bag of experiences every single day. While half of the time, they feel satisfied by helping customers with their problems and being appreciated by them, then there are times when they receive a barrage of complaints from angry customers. 

In such cases, you are left with two options, either let the issue slide as it is just one customer or try your level best to win their trust back with a better alternative, which doesn’t cost a penny – a genuine apology email. 

If you choose the former, you’re not only losing the customer, but there’s a good chance they’ll tell the world about it. Whereas, sending a genuine apology email will show customers that you are humble enough to acknowledge and learn from your mistakes. 

Here are the 5 guidelines to follow for writing an impactful apology email:

1.Acknowledge the issue

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An apology email should always start with you giving an overview of the problem. As soon as the customer reads the first sentence, it must reflect that you’ve understood your mistake and you take accountability for it. Use the same language the customer used to describe their issue to acknowledge their frustration.

2. State a genuine apology

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An apology must sound genuine to be effective. A slight hint of robotic, fake, or defensive apology can aggravate customers. Avoid using words that shift the blame on circumstances and other people. 

For example, avoid using “Sorry about your experience, but….” Or “We are sorry you felt like that.” This may sound like you are unwilling to take responsibility for the mistake. No matter how small or irrelevant the issue might appear, you should always take responsibility for the problem and apologize unconditionally. This is the only way to repair a relationship with a customer who may be considering switching to a competitor.

3.Give a reason for the failure.

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After expressing your regret, you should let the customer know why the problem arose in the first place. Here, it’s essential to understand the circumstance before attempting to describe what caused it. For instance, if an order is delivered late due to a wrong address, you must clarify if the delivery business was at fault or if there was some other technical glitch. If you impartially respond to customer’s issues, the majority of them will appreciate your willingness to admit failure.

4. Let them know how you will solve the issue.

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How well you handle this phase will determine how long you will have a relationship with the customer. Describe the steps you are taking to solve the issue as soon as you have listed the cause. Let’s say the customer’s shipping address was entered erroneously in the aforementioned case. You can express a sense of urgency with your language. You may say, “We have corrected your billing address on our end and have also directed the delivery company to confirm all shipping details before dispatching orders.”

5.Thank them for bringing up the issue and promise to do better in future

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Once you’ve identified the areas where you fell short of their expectations, all you need to do to renew your relationship with them is to express gratitude and pledge to go above and beyond in the future. According to studies, only 30% of businesses manage to get this aspect of customer service right. It is also one of the main causes of customers becoming passive over time and ultimately becoming detractors.

Final Thoughts

Your goal in sending the customer an apologetic email is to win them back. The best way to appease customers, deal with terrible situations diplomatically, and, most importantly, keep their trust and loyalty is to craft the appropriate kind of apology. The value it can bring to your business is immeasurable. 

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