What a Difference an Apology Makes-Rhonda Partain

I work as a customer service agent at a small company. I do the usual type things, process credit cards for orders, change contact information and sometimes I do light technical support for the software the company offers. Today I came into contact with a very unhappy customer. It seemed as though he was mad at the world in general. I happened to be the lucky recipient of his wrath. He used some very foul language in his assessment of how his order had been handled. I offered him a month of free service and apologized for the misunderstanding. This wasn’t good enough. He unequivocally wanted his money back. So I escalated his complaint and made my report. It’s sort of annoying when you believe that you are doing a good job and someone is just rude.

Imagine my surprise when a few hours later this same customer called to make a sincere apology. He said he shouldn’t have taken his anger over his bad day out on me. You know how it is easy to tell a fake apology from a real one. I have an apology detector in my head. I know immediately if someone is sorry they did or said something, or if on the other hand,t hey are just sorry they were caught, or that someone is mad at them. This was the real deal. It’s Funny how an apology changes things. I graciously accepted his apology and my faith in mankind was restored.

So here is a tip for all of you. If it seems someone is upset or angry with you remember this one thing. Don’t say something like: I am sorry if I hurt you. That is an insincere apology. If they are angry or hurt they obviously feel wronged so just apologize. I never meant to hurt you; I never meant to say the things I did. I am so sorry. A real apology makes job challenges worth all of the effort.

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