I’m the Jedi Warrior of creating apology emails.
You see, I know all about apologies.
When I was in seventh grade, I attended an information session for our school’s talent show.
The teacher in charge did a roll call. When she called out my name, before I could say, “Here,” a bunch of my fellow students yelled, “I’m sorry!”
That was how they viewed me.
Because at that time in my life, I was apologizing constantly.
No wonder they thought it was a part of my name!
Since then, I’m happy to say I no longer apologize for my existence. There are other social discussions revolving around a woman’s habit of always apologizing, but still—a good apology has value.
Here’s The Tenth Doctor from Doctor Who saying “Sorry…” 120 times in 2:18 minutes.
I wasn’t at Doctor Who’s level of apologizing, but close.
Here’s the deal: Apologies are often part of smart marketing.
Sorry… Not Sorry Fake Apologies
Now let’s be honest.
Most of us have received emails with the subject line, “Oops! Sorry, wrong link!”
Some of those were real mistakes and they truly did include the wrong URL link in their original email.
But other businesses have admitted a “mistake” just so they have another opportunity to pitch you their offer.
That’s not the type of apology emails I’m referring to.
The kind of apology emails I’m talking about are the ones that can do wonders for your bottom line. It’s the apology you make when you know your client, customer, or prospect has been disappointed, frustrated, or angry about an experience they had with your business.
For example, I’ll share a recent story, which inspired this post.
Last year, I joined a monthly subscription service that sends small gifts in a box. The gift content is a nice surprise because you never know what exactly will be in the box.
I received two of them last year. Completely delighted.
Until December’s box.
There was a slight glitch with the orders and I was placed in the second batch of package shipments.
I knew I wouldn’t receive the box until after Christmas but still looked forward to a December delivery.
Except the delivery never came.
Now, throughout this entire experience, it’s important to add that I had to reach out to the company each time to find out the shipping status.
And by “each time,” I mean four different times.
I sent a few emails and then followed up with a phone call when no one responded to my emails.
But not once did I receive a message from this company that they were truly sorry for the glitch – let alone any gesture to make up for the disappointing experience.
I discovered from the phone rep that December had a much higher request for the box than they were expecting. They had to work with their vendor in order to get another supply.
I get that, but I feel this company missed a HUGE opportunity to impress me as a customer.
Here’s what I think they should have done instead:
- As soon as they realized what happened, they should have sent an email apology to their members affected by the glitch.
- Within the email, they should have given A) current status of order B) when the package delivery was anticipated and C) what would happen if the delivery date was delayed again.
- When the delivery date was delayed the first time (this particular delivery was delayed three times), the company should have sent another apology and this time, include a discount for a store purchase.
- When the delivery date was delayed, even more, the company would have completely “WOW’D” their subscribers by sending a small, inexpensive gift to them as a way to thank them for their business and an apology for the unresolved issue.
The package was finally delivered… seven weeks later.
How To Keep Customers and Clients Satisfied With The Right Kind of Apology Emails
But do you see how strategically scheduled apologies could have made me a much happier customer? Even a small discount on a store purchase would have considerably raised my perceptions of the company.
Needless to say, I “paused” the January box. I’m still on the fence whether I want to continue to be a member or not.
Your client, customer, or prospect has a LOT of choices when it comes to your particular solution. Everything is on the table, now. Not just what you offer, but how you offer it.
Above all, your customer service processes… your communication… your follow-up and follow-through… Does it consistently respond to your buyer’s concerns?
If not, you’ll always have to replace lost customer and clients. Your “lifetime customer value” numbers will drop and you may have to wrestle with a bunch of negative online reviews.
Wouldn’t it just be easier and more cost-effective to send sincere apology emails? The kind that makes your customer or client feel valued and respected?
And add a customer retention device such as a discount? It could go a long way toward keeping your clients, customers, and potential buyers happy.