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Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service, 5th Edition by John BUSH, PERFORMANCE RESEARCH ASSOCIATES

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29Use the Well-Placed “I’m Sorry”

“A few words of regret is a way of saying you care, a show of sensitivity to the ragged edges of another’s emotion.”

—Robert ConklinHow to Get People to Do Things

The words are so simple—“I’m sorry”—yet we hear them far too infrequently. In fact, our research shows that when customers tell a company about a problem with a product or service, they receive an apology less than half the time. That’s about half as often as they should. The solution to every problem, whether major or minor, should start with a sincere apology.

Why is it so hard for us to say “I’m sorry” to our customers? First and foremost, we may be intimidated by the words. We may think that “I’m sorry” actually means “I’ve failed,” “I’m not a good ...

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