Mistakes are bound to happen anywhere. However, how you handle these mistakes is what really makes the difference. Whether you sell products or provide services, one way or the other, situations will arise that well-presented apologies will be invaluable. It is also vital to realize that the email has now become a normal part of our daily lives. For this reason, it is an effective way of reaching customers.
How to Apologize to a Customer via Email; Identify the Grievance
Before embarking on any form of apology, it is extremely important to identify what exactly the customer is displeased with. It is possible you became aware of this through a one-on-one contact, phone call or email. Whatever the means, ensure you have a good grip of what the issue is exactly. There is no point trying to apologize to a customer via email when you are not sure of what exactly the issue is.
If you intend to apologize to a customer via email, you will need clarity on the point(s) of grievance. After listening to the customer or reading the email (or snail mail), you can seek further clarification if the situation is not clear to you. This will be one of the key points in your initial email. Pay close attention to every point and exercise great patience with the difficult customers.
To master the skill on how to apologize to a customer via email, you need to understand human psychology. This understanding will help you to identify how to manage an aggrieved customer. There are broadly two types of grievances when dealing with customers – the objective and the subjective. Both are handled in a similar way.
An objective grievance is that directly linked to a defect in the product or service rendered. The customer may have discovered that for no reason, the mobile phone he bought from your store was not booting up. It could also be that you delivered a wedding cake after the wedding ceremony was over. Both examples are objective reasons why any customer would be disappointed.
A subjective grievance is that one may not be easily traced or verified when investigated. A good example is when a customer reports that a front desk officer acted rudely while attending to him or her. The issue with this type of complaint is that there is plausible deniability on the part of the employee, especially when there are no witnesses. The customer may be honestly offended, but it is also possible that the rudeness was only a perceived or subjective one.
How to Apologize to a Customer via Email; Deal with the Grievance
Both objective and subjective grievances should be handled the same way. To enable you to resolve the matter quickly, pay attention to the customer’s grievance, not its objectivity. Avoid defending the error of a member of staff; whether it was a perceived error or otherwise. The same goes for a bad product or service rendered, do not defend it. Your attention should be focused on appeasing the customer.
Let us take an in-depth look into how to apologize to a customer via email.
It is not Personal
When you apologize to a customer via email, remember that you are a representative of your company. You are simply doing your job. The customer may seem to be directing anger at you, but keep in mind that his grievance is with the company, not actually you. And the customer is aware of this fact. Therefore, it totally pointless to let anything an angry customer writes or does to trouble you.
You do not need to reply the aggrieved customer with the same tone or manner with which he or she spoke or wrote to you. Doing this will only end up protracting the issue and putting your employment under threat. Besides the fact that your email is may be monitored, the customer may send an official complaint regarding your attitude.
Empathy and Empathy
Showing empathy is a professional way of letting the customer know that you genuinely care. You are there to help. Empathy is simply putting yourself in the aggrieved customer’s position. How would you feel if you were the one in his or her situation, how would you like to be treated? Answering these questions can help you stay focused in your bid to apologize to a customer via email. It will also help you have a genuine motivation to resolve the customer’s queries.
Get the Info Right
In your email, politely repeat the information that the customer has provided for him or her to verify if you got everything right. This will help you to be sure you got all the customer’s complaints right. It also helps to show the customer that you pay attention to details and you are passionate about resolving his or her complaints.
The Art of Apologizing
As noted earlier, it is appropriate to apologize to an aggrieved customer, whether his or her grievance is objective or totally subjective. It is also possible that the entire fault rests on the customer. For example, The customer may not have read the manual of a device before using it, and this led to it getting damaged.
Apologizing does not necessarily mean that the customer is right, it does not also mean that you are accepting blame on behalf of the company. But to resolve the problem, you should let him or her know and feel you are on his or her side. This is important when you apologize to a customer via email.
Resolve the Issue
What the customer really wants is a resolution of the issue at hand. Therefore, ensure that this happens at the end of the day. In practice, an issue is only resolved when the customer feels that that is the case. Therefore, verify whether the customer is satisfied or not with the solution you have provided, never assume.
Your company may also have a policy for compensating customers or replacing damaged products. Ensure that all that is necessary is done to satisfy the customer.
To further know how to apologize to a customer via email ensure to follow our tips and guidelines for writing professional emails. This will ensure that your email makes the desired impact.
Sample Email 1: How to Apologize to a Customer via Email
Dear Mr Stevens,
The situation you presented in your email was quite disheartening. We are so sorry you had to go through that. We will do our best to resolve it, Santana Furnishings has your best interest at heart.
In your mail, you mentioned that the sofa you purchased three days ago at our Chicago store had multiple holes underneath, which you did not notice at the time of purchase.
Mr Stevens, on behalf of the company, I sincerely do apologize for the inconvenience you must have experienced because of this defect. We are so sorry.
Our team from the local store will visit you by 3 pm tomorrow to resolve the issue.
Please let me know if there is any other thing we can do.
Client Relations, Santana Furnishings LLC
Sample Email 2: How to Apologize to a Customer via Email
Your email regarding your unpleasant experience at our hotel has been noted. We were very sad when we read your email this morning regarding the poor customer service you received at our hotel during your stay two weeks ago.
We are so sorry that you had such a disappointing experience with us. Ocean View Suites seeks to give all our customers excellent customer service.
You noted, in particular, the attitude of the busboy stationed on the floor of your suite. We are pleased to inform you that he has been summoned and is presently answering a query from the management.
We sincerely apologize for the inappropriate behavior of one of our staff members and the general poor experienced you had while at our hotel.
Meanwhile, we have just mailed you a $200 shopping coupon from the company, to be used to purchase anything you want at Wal-Mart. Please, accept it as our way of saying we are sorry.
Managing Partner, Ocean View Suites
Sample Email 3: How to Apologize to a Customer via Email
Dear Miss Edward,
Thank you for your email regarding the defect you noticed in our products.
We are sorry about this situation. In order to have a comprehensive detail on the nature of the defect in the robotic arms we supplied, our team of engineers will be at your factory this afternoon.
Your company and ours have had a good relationship over the years. This situation made us sad. We will do our very best to rectify it.
We apologize for this unfortunate situation again.
Thank you very much.
Quality Control, Compact Technologies