Fake Words

Two customer service representatives of a client of mine had been taught by a previous consultant to apologize and move on when a customer was unhappy with us EVEN when it wasn’t our fault. I questioned one of the CSR’s why she kept apologizing all morning and she said, “Oh, it’s okay, I’ve been apologizing for sh*t that I haven’t done all my life.”

She had written across the bottom of her computer monitor:

apologize and move on
apologize and move on
apologize and move on

And boy was she busting her butt all morning doing it. We had 100 service calls on this Monday and our capacity was three techs. It was a very difficult week.

I disagree with this process. When you apologize and say you are sorry for something that you are not responsible for, it harms you emotionally, your words carry no weight and you are not being genuine. You’re just using words to move on past it at the expense of your own emotional health. On top of that, you’re simply being fake and self serving.

Join with the customer and validate their feelings instead of apologizing and moving past it. It may sound something like this: “Mr Jones, I certainly understand your frustration. I would be frustrated too if I had to wait several days without air. I wish we could come sooner too.”

The key is to be sincere, genuine and honest but don’t use your words to manipulate past their pain. Listen to them and validate them. If our words carry no weight, people sense it. How do we expect them to believe us when we need them to if we are being fake on the front end.

If you were responsible for not being able to come out and were truly sorry about it, you would get your butt out there at ALL expense. Apologizing for something that you are not responsible for is fake, manipulative and not sincere. Stop doing it.

About the author, Roger Daviston

Roger Daviston is a personal growth consultant who gets measurable results. He facilitates and encourages individuals to change behavior and make different choices to achieve better outcomes.

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