The road to lead conversion is not straight. This road is riddled with setbacks, successes, and of course, sorries.

Apologies play an important role in customer interaction. But often just saying “I’m sorry” is not enough. The phrase will appear and sound insincere if it is repeated too often.

As we continue in this article, we will look at why saying “sorry” may not always suffice. 

 

Dealing with sorry situations

Being genuine is difficult when one isn’t feeling sorry. In the career of a salesperson, there are bound to be many instances in which they must apologize. These instances could include calling the prospect at the wrong time, denying them a request, mishandling an order, and so on. 

Many salespeople are overwhelmed by such situations, and to be honest, there aren’t any sure-shot customer service apology scripts that will instantly calm an angry customer down. Let’s now examine how to handle sorry situations without always saying sorry.

 

Avoid the non-apology

A non-apology or a backhanded apology is a statement that sounds like an apology outwardly but is actually devoid of any remorse. It’s like saying, “I’m sorry it is what it is and there’s nothing I can do about it”. (Ouch)

It is very important to be able to realize what kind of language actually conveys regret, remorse, and humility to your customers. Also, the realization of which words twist a would-be apology into one of dismissal and condescension.

Always prevent using language that removes you or your business from responsibility. That is why you need to avoid saying things like:

  • I am sorry you feel that way
  • I am sorry if you are offended
  • Mistakes were made
  • It is unfortunate that things turned out this way

Make sure you check your words for any hint of defensiveness before apologizing. If you are feeling on edge, there is always a chance that it is probably coming out in the form of the dreaded non-apology and that is not right.

 

Listen carefully

Listen Carefully

Active listening can be difficult for salespeople often. If you are a live chat agent who is having a hard time listening to customers, then this can be problematic for you. 

It is so because it is your job to get to the bottom of a customer’s issue and address it effectively. Again, there are no definite customer service apology scripts, thus, the only way to apologize genuinely is to start by truly and carefully understanding the customer’s problem.

Lead Conversion

Active listening can be honed by salespeople by following a number of steps, which include:

  • Legitimizing the other person’s feelings, for example, “that must have been frustrating for you.”
  • Using minimal encouragers, for example, “I see”, “I understand“, and “I hear you”
  • Paraphrasing periodically, for example, “I’m sorry you’re feeling X because we did Y”.
  • Resisting the temptation to “fix it”. Though it’s your job to eventually patch everything up, this instinct should kick in after the apology.

Active listening allows salespeople to figure out exactly why they are apologizing to their customers. They can easily identify things like whether their customers are angry that they denied a request or maybe because one took too long to meet the customer’s needs, and so on.

If you truly understand their struggle, then your customer is more likely to accept your apology. Therefore, do not skip this important first step in your customer interaction.

 

Also Read: Top 9 Must Have Telecaller Skills In 2021

 

Take responsibility

Agreed, the salesperson is not at fault always. Yet they have to apologize when things go haywire in a customer interaction as in that situation they are the face of the company.  Hence, they will apologize on behalf of their team. 

It is important to make sure you focus on acknowledging where things went wrong on your end and analyze each and everything even if it’s something that seems insignificant. For example, if you have to tell your customer that your warranty service does not cover accidents, you can try saying:

“I apologize that we didn’t clearly communicate the warranty’s limits. This matter will be forwarded to the appropriate department so that we can make this clearer for our customers.”

By taking responsibility, you are showing your customers that you do not take their issues lightly. Still, if you feel like going a step further and truly want to impress your customers, give them your name. For example, if your customer is upset with a defective product you sold to them, you may say something like this:

“I’m very sorry that you are experiencing issues with our product. “I’m Michael and I’m going to make certain we get this for you today.”

When you put your name on the line, it shows that you have tremendous accountability and commitment to resolving your customers’ problems on a priority basis.

 

Offer explanations, not excuses

It is very significant that if a customer is willing to know why something is not meeting their needs, then you must be able to tell them why things have gone wrong at your end.

As a salesperson, one should always give a valid explanation with adequate measures of blame, so that any attempt at transparency does not come across as an excuse at any cost. For example, “this happened because of X, but this is no reason to make you wait for 2 hours. I deeply apologize. I will forward this issue to a supervisor immediately.”

 

Communicate the solution

Communication is the key to successful customer interaction. Therefore, tell your customer what comes next, or what options they have to choose from. At the end of the day, they should know that you are actually going to make things right for them by providing them with a solution.

Try using this: “We’re deeply sorry about your issue. We understand how you feel and will take care of this for you right now. Let me speak with my supervisor to see how we can correct this for you.”

 

Recommended: Things You Need To Know As A Telecaller

 

Mindless apologies don’t pave the way to lead conversion

Although a sorry goes a long way, it is also the shortcut to customers labelling you insincere. Avoid that from happening. What a customer really wants is a solution, all sorry and no solution will not help you in lead conversion. All it will really do is put a stop at further interaction then and there.

So, these were a few tips to handle sorry situations. While these situations can seem overwhelming, they aren’t impossible to overcome. Feel free to leave a comment regarding the same!