As much as we try to get things right and to be kind to others there are going to be times where we need to make apology for something we have done, or failed to do. With our customers or patients it may be over not delivering a service or a product as was expected. Maybe there were unexpected costs due, an increased price, or some sort of miscommunication that has caused a problem. Whatever it is if the people we serve are unhappy or dissatisfied an apology is owed to them by us.
One of the most important things to remember when it comes to owing an apology is to do it quickly, do not delay as it could make matters worse. Ask for a clear explanation of what the problem is then take time to listen to all of the details and ask questions, if needed, so you can truly understand where they are coming from and what has truly happened to upset them. Many times once people are allowed to verbally explain their problem they feel better just having done so. But when it comes time to apologize for any wrong doing, misunderstanding, or conflict make sure you look the person in the eye and speak sincerely to them about being sorry for the situation and let them know what can be done, if anything, to correct it. People know when you are not being sincere. Choose your words carefully, and take your time to think it through. The last thing you would want to do is to make promises that you cannot keep, or give false hope to a person who is already disappointed and upset. The three key things to remember when is comes to apologizing are; 1. Do it quickly. 2. Listen carefully. 3. Be sincere.
Oh, yes there is a very important fourth thing to do, try to make things right in your customers eyes so that you may save the relationship and continue to do future business with them, they will appreciate the effort you make to try to correct the issue at hand. Take the time to bridge the gap.