It’s Friday and it’s sunny! Two great reasons to smile. Plus, hopefully we’ll get to enjoy some sunshine this weekend…and a dry Saturday night for racing. Meanwhile, I’m reflecting on a fact that’s quite simple but sometimes surprisingly controversial.
It’s okay to apologize.
Strike that. It’s essential to apologize. However, you’ve probably noticed that as a society we’re out of the habit. Maybe it’s fear of lawsuits. Maybe it’s picked up from politicians who don’t want to claim the blame. Sure – none of us wants to admit we screwed up, but saying “I’m sorry” isn’t as scary as it seems.
In business when things go awry, business representatives too often skip the important steps of being empathetic and apologizing to the customer. Instead, they jump straight from listening, if they really listen at all, to trying to problem solve.
I’ll leave you with a handy little acronym I learned from customer service expert Robin Whitfield, who used it to articulate four important steps that should be followed – in this order – when addressing customer concerns, or anyone’s concerns for that matter: LEAP. Listen, Empathize, Apologize and Problem Solve.
Let’s LEAP to the challenge – and have a sunny day!
P.S. “Never ruin an apology with an excuse.” Kimberly Johnson, American poet and Renaissance scholar.