It doesn’t matter how nice of a person you are 99% of the time, because there will be that 1% where an apology is in order. With patients or customers it may be over not delivering service or a product as was expected. Maybe there was an unexpected cost, an increased price, or miscommunication that has caused a problem. Whatever it is if the people you serve are unhappy and dissatisfied an apology is owed. And when you make that apology you really only have one time to hit the bulls eye and get it right. One of the most important thing to do when you know an apology is owed is to do it quickly, do not delay as it could make matters worse. Ask for an 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 the real problem is. Many times once people are allowed to verbally explain their problem or dissatisfaction, 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, to correct it or to make the situation better. You must remember that people know when you are not being sincere. Choose your words carefully, and take your time to think the whole situation 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. If you remember these three things when is comes to apologizing you will be headed in the right direction to restoring your customers confidence in your company and restoring relationships that will bring future business. The three keys steps in making an apology are; 1. Do it quickly. 2. Listen carefully to get all of the details so you know why they are unhappy. 3. Be sincere to them in your apology and what you can do to make it better. Do not short change them, they will remember. Deliver the goods on time and as they expect it.