TeleTech Blog

The Art of I’m Sorry: Crafting the Perfect Customer Apology

In our socially connected world, customers will tell twice as many people about a bad customer experience than a good one, so it’s critical for companies to respond with a meaningful customer apology before a simple mistake escalates into a public debacle.

Remember United Airlines’ apology after the rampers broke the country singer’s guitar? Remember when Apple had to apologize for their bad maps? Don’t go down in the history books. If your company reacts quickly to remedy the problem, your situation is less likely to be remembered. Here are tips from TeleTech and Corpen Group on how to save relationships with the perfect customer apology.

The Art of I’m Sorry: Crafting the Perfect Customer Apology
Four Basic Rules for Any Customer Apology
  • Be responsive and act quickly.
  • Be sincere. It’s ok for a company to show emotion.
  • Be specific. Take ownership for the specific act or event. If possible, offer an explanation.
  • Offer a course of correction, instead of an excuse.

After the Apology: Fixing the Situation
  1. Take time to understand what the customer needs to consider the problem solved.
  2. Offer choices for the best course of action.
  3. Explain the pros and cons for each course of action.
  4. Act and deliver, then follow up.

Corpen Group’s Anatomy of a Corporate Apology offers deeper insight to help your brand demonstrate the right amount compassion and humility to diffuse any situation. This diagram walks you through the list of ailments that escalate customers’ emotions and offers remedies for each one. Here are three primary customer fuses according to Corpen Group and the steps to short circuit them before the bomb goes off.

The Head: Customers get frustrated when companies shy away from the problem, using the excuse that it’s too early to tell. Remedy the situation by explaining what you don’t know and why. Assure the customer that you will transparently report facts as they come in.

The Heart: Customers hate dealing with brands and hearing comments like “that’s our policy.” They want real people and an apology from the heart. To remedy the situation, take a people-first approach and show them that you care.

The Hands: Putting off an apology will only anger customers. Don’t wait for the ideal solution. Show them your helping hands. Make them aware that you’re committed to making the situation right—even if you don’t have all the answers at this moment.   

But, apologies aren’t the only ways to create smooth customer experiences. Read more tips on how to make your customer apology simple, effortless, and fun.

This infographic was created by Corpen Group, and this article summarizes some of its contents. The original infographic is here.


TeleTech Announces Second Quarter 2017 Financial Results
TeleTech Welcomes Jeff Marcoux as Vice President, Product Marketing

Customer Experience Solutions and Marketing Innovation Expert Bolsters Customer Experience and Service Design Acumen
Read press release


Global Headquarters
9197 South Peoria Street
Englewood, Colorado, U.S.A.

For General Inquiries

Outside of the U.S. please
dial +1.303.397.8100

For more information about TeleTech services and solutions
dial +1.877.206.8119

Outside of U.S. please
dial +1.480.389.1436

CX Innovators, Experts and Entrepreneurs Share Their Stories in The CX Pod
On-Demand Podcast Series Features Conversations on CX Insights, Ideas and Innovations
TeleTech CX Leader to Share Perspectives at CXSF 2017
Jeff Marcoux, CX Innovator and Marketing Professor, Will Outline Five Steps to Delivering Amazing Customer Experiences Using Strategy, Technology, Automation, Analytics and People