They think that if you say you’re “sorry” that magically makes everything better.
But haven’t we all been on the receiving end of an insincere apology, when you knew that there was no meaning behind the words, they were, just words.
Often reminds me of when we were kids, and you’d get into a fight with your Brother, and your Mother would grab you and tell you; “apologize to your Brother.”
I don’t know about you, but when that happened to me, and I subsequently apologized to my Brother, it didn’t mean a thing, not to me, and certainly not to him.
He knew I was just going through the motions.
We weren’t fooling anyone.
Or, someone sets out to apologize and approaches you under the premise that they want to apologize, but instead of apologizing, they attempt to justify or explain what happened, instead of taking responsibility for the situation.
Drives me crazy.
And I’m not someone who judges an apology by how much time and effort that they spend falling all over me, quite the contrary, sometimes, “thou doth protest too much.”
All I want, when the situation calls for it, is a genuine apology.
For me, a genuine apology involves someone taking responsibility for their action, and recognizing the impact they have had on another, and with that in mind, apologizing for the situation – period.
Don’t embellish, don’t try to get in my shoes or in my head, resist the urge, and just say “I’m sorry.”
The only other thing I might add is, and again, when appropriate, to take the necessary action to correct the situation, or, to simply ask; “what can I do to make this right?”
Sometimes, rather than assuming what a disgruntled guest might want when something is in order, it’s just more appropriate and more effective to ask them what they feel would be fair.
These circumstances, although they often start out as a negative, if handled correctly, can be turned around and generate a positive outcome, and can in fact enhance your reputation.
When things go wrong, and invariably they will go wrong from time to time, what makes the difference is how the situation is handled.
In effective crisis management we see this time and time again.
The story starts out with a problem that has occurred, but then, the rest of the story turns to how quickly the company got out in front of the problem, took immediate responsibility for the situation, and took action.
I can think of many instances where something has gone wrong during a visit to a restaurant or a Hotel, and instead of choosing never to go there again, (and telling everyone I know not to go there either), they have turned me into a loyal customer based on their handling of the situation.