How To Apologise To A Client - Birchills Blog
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How To Apologise To A Client For Your Mistake


If you've made a mistake which affects a client, whether it's financially or not, then apologising is the right and sensible thing to do.

The first thing to do is to make sure you know what went wrong, why it went wrong, how much it cost you and how much it may affect the client. Then you need to try and think of a reasonable and true explanation of how it could have happened without appearing completely incompetent. Then you need to work out a plan of action to try to minimise the damage and prevent it happening again.


CALM AND CONTRITE

So, once you've had a chance to think it through, then pick up the phone and make that apology. You want to do this as soon as possible -- leaving it just makes matters worse. Having the conversation over the phone emphasises the sense of urgency in sorting out the problem.

You want to try and be calm, contrite and apologetic but not grovelling.

After you have apologised you should try and present your explanation of why the mistake happened. If it is partially the clients fault, then mentioning this does not help.

OFFER A PLAN OF ACTION

Then you should offer the plan of action to correct the error and say what precautions you've set in place to stop it happening again. So, for instance you may have to get the work double checked in future. If that is the case, then you should emphasise to the client that there will no cost implications of this extra work -- otherwise it looks as if they will have to pay more to stop the mistake happening again.

If the client gets angry then you should listen to his points as far as possible. Don't try and argue or justify your position. You should say that you understand his anger and apologise again before offering your proposed solution once more.

If the client makes reasonable demands to correct the situation, then you should agree immediately. If the demands are unreasonable, then, you should say that you do not have the authority to make that concession but will get back to them when you've had a chance to discuss it with your boss. You should then phone the client back, by which point the situation should be calmer and have another discussion.

LEARN FROM IT

Try and regard the whole experience as a learning one for you -- not as a personal tragedy -- unless of course you get sacked.

Once the crisis has passed then you should take whatever steps you can to prevent the problem happening again.

 
COMMENTS

Thomas Jones  3 weeks ago
Great advice.It's all about working towards putting the mistake right and not losing the customer.

E Brooklyn 1 year ago
awesome JOB!

past transgressions 2 years ago
Great video.very useful tips that must be maintained in a working environment
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