Customer Experience News & Trends

You said the wrong thing to a customer – now what?

You cursed, said something mean or sarcastic or gave bad information. Now what do you say to the customer? Try this approach to make things right.

So the wrong words rolled off your tongue because it was a heated or confusing moment. Fortunately, you can rebound and save the relationship.

The first and most important key: Acknowledge the mistake. Customers won’t miss the swear word or sarcasm in your voice – and they likely won’t forgive it if you move on.

Try this:

  1. Admit it. Don’t even try to gloss over it. Acknowledge exactly what you said and why it was wrong. Example, “I used an inappropriate word and tone and that’s not the kind of treatment you deserve as a valued customer.”
  2. Apologize. Tell customers you’re sorry. “I apologize for my mistake and any problems it might have caused you.”
  3. Set a new direction. Tell customers who’ve been on the wrong end of your mistake how you’ll handle the situation and yourself now. “I will not behave like that from this point on. I want to stay focused on a solution to your situation.”
  4. Offer an alternative. Let customers decide if they still want to work with you. “I’d like to move forward and help you immediately, but I understand if you’d like to talk to someone else. Please tell me what’s best for you.”
  5. Stay focused. Move forward. Don’t rehash what happened or apologize for it again. Help customers with red-carpet treatment so they’re reminded of why they do business with your contact center.

Subscribe Today

Get the latest customer experience news and insights delivered to your inbox.