Every editor who works in a project related to the sale of goods and services (that is, in almost any), sooner or later, comes running a manager with burning eyes. And the manager says: “Listen, we are in trouble! We screwed up here, the goods were not shipped, the site fell, the orders were mixed! In short, an urgent task – you have to write something. Well, apologize how it goes. “
The editor smiles, sits down at Google Docs, and half an hour later gives the text. And in the text – something like this:
Dear Customer! In connection with the technical features of the shipment of goods and the provision of services, there were difficulties. We will notify you in a separate letter when the situation is resolved. Administration.
This approach to apology is not a joke, but a harsh truth. I have met her in all companies: from small startups for three people to market giants with thousands of people and shares on the stock exchange. Apologizing, their employees try to:
- Do not use “harsh” words, calling what happened a situation, temporary difficulties and restrictions.
- They write in the passive voice: “The site was disconnected.” As if the shutdown was taken and produced by some unknown bastard.
- Use a style that makes the reader feel ashamed of using the service at all.
In sum, the effect of such an apology is often the opposite. The client gets even more angry, starts posting the correspondence on social networks, and the company, most likely, loses the buyer forever.
How to do it right
It is good to apologize in the text – this is a necessary editorial minimum, which is owned by only a small part of the authors. We will fix this now.
There are several parts to a good apology.
Repeat the problem after the interlocutor
This is the foundation of any excuseful communication. By repeating the problem in our own words, we acknowledge that it exists and make sure that we understand it correctly.
Hello! Thank you for writing. As we understand, you bought a MacBook Pro with delivery from us. The laptop was supposed to be delivered on August 12 by 16:00. However, on August 12, the courier with the MacBook did not arrive, and called only in the evening, at about 8 pm. At this time, you already went on vacation and could not get the long-awaited laptop.
Just be honest and straightforward: it’s our fault. We understand your pain. Sorry.
We understand that you’ve been counting on a new laptop on your trip. The fact that our courier did not deliver it on time is completely our fault. We want to apologize to you for this.
Explain the reason
A good apology is backed up by actions that, in turn, will prevent this from happening again in the future. This will help retain the client – he understands that the situation will not happen again, and the company knows how to draw conclusions from its mistakes.
We figured out the situation. It turned out that a courier with a laptop got into a minor car accident. But instead of quickly informing us about this and transferring the order to another employee, he began to solve the problem with the accident. We discussed this situation with the employees and worked out a rule – in case of any delivery violations, our couriers will first of all transfer purchases to colleagues and only after that they solve their cases.
In a situation where a client is hurt, it is important to issue compensation. This does not necessarily mean money in the account, gifts or discounts. Compensation can also be intangible: an invitation to lunch or dinner with the head of your company, participation in a private event or sale among the first.
Of course, we will refund 100% of the price of the laptop in the next 1-2 days. However, we will be happy to compensate for our mistake in another way – to deliver you a laptop of the same configuration to any place where you find yourself in the next 2-3 days. All shipping costs will be borne by us, of course. If you don’t mind this option, just give us your phone number and address and we will arrange everything.
This model works well even when there is no task of writing a large and rather personal letter. It can be placed in both pop-up and SMS:
From 14:00 to 16:00, our service does not work properly. The reason is a technical malfunction. We apologise. We will inform you in a letter as soon as the situation is resolved. Funds will not be debited during downtime.