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  • Writer's pictureJoel Thiessen

I made a mistake!

I made a mistake!

I'm so incredibly sorry.

I think my Canada is showing...

In North America, we know what to expect in customer service, but we are missing a few things to truly excel at giving it.

Today, I will focus on just one.

  • Customer Service agents can't be proud.

I'm not talking about being proud of your company or your work.

I'm talking about the bad type of pride.

The kind that has a difficult time saying, "We made a mistake", "We were wrong", "I'm sorry", or "Worcestershire sauce".

If we can't say that we made a mistake, we can never truly reconcile the customer to a company.

If you can't reconcile the customer, they will never become a returning client.

When we make a mistake as a company and we own up to it, embrace our inner Canadian, and say "Sorry, we made a mistake." it's a great step in the right direction.

But that's not the only thing that needs to be done.

Reconciliation isn't simply saying that we are sorry, but it is saying, "I'm going to make it right."

This may look like a refund, it may look like a replacement, or it may look like a gift card to make another purchase at your company.

Reconciliation isn't simply about saying sorry and making it right, it's about the dialogue.

If you go to a customer service desk and are complaining about a service or product and they don't listen to you, but simply apologize, give you a refund, and send you away would you be happy?

Don't expect your clients to be happy either.

This type of quick resolution is generally done because we are afraid to include the client in the solution.

Including the client takes emotional connection and time.

We are afraid of that in America.

The dialogue necessary for reconciliation is scary.

That, however, is exactly what great customer service does.

Great customer service brings the client into the solution by asking them what they would like to see done to make it right

Reconciliation cannot be done by one party alone.

When you say sorry, "I forgive you" is expected as a response.

You may never get that as a customer service agent, but the point is collaboration, conversation, and relationship building.

To take a complaining client and turn them into a customer that raves about your company, you need to have that relationship.

Practically, this looks like asking the client what they want to see happen.

After listening to them, then and only then, do your best to go over and above what they asked for.


I can hear you asking this because it's the natural response.

Now think about how you would feel if somebody did that for you.

Asked what you would be happy with and then went above and beyond.

This is why you cannot have pride in a customer service situation.

It's not about you.

It never has been.

It's about serving the customers needs.

This shift in customer service strategy will keep your customers dancing back to your stores to buy from you again and telling their friends all about you!

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