The Power Of An Apology

We hadn’t been in touch for a while so it was nice to hear from them.  At the begining however a comment was made that affected me in two different ways.  The first half went something like this “I am so sorry I haven’t been in touch” at which point I felt empathy and kindness towards them, I know their lives are packed, life happens!  They then finished the statement with “but I just haven’t had time!”

At this point it rather fell apart at the seams because they might as well have added “for you” because that in effect is what they were saying.  It’s rather similar to that “he’s just not that into you” moment.  Needless to say I was rather put out, very unsympathetic to the list of excuses I was then regaled with and not interested in all the other exciting things that had been taking up their time. 

Most people have busy lives, with demands of children, careers, social activities, parents, businesses etc etc but part of owning one’s life is to make time for what’s important to you and nobody’s busy-ness is more important or more valid than another’s.  Another friend said to me “just because I haven’t been in touch doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking of you”  perhaps not phrased brilliantly but I knew exactly what she meant and that was all right.  Yes sometimes friends do drop off the radar it is inevitable, but not necessarily excusable because of time constraints.

I have stopped some years ago explaining why I am late, because I am late 95% of the time.  It’s not something I am proud of, I work to correct it but when I meet new people I say please be aware I tend to be late, shall I text you as I am about to leave?  Otherwise it soon irritates people beyond doubt and my excuses get lamer and lamer. 

This in my mind is also what customer service is about.  After all the customer may not always be “right”, but who are you to tell them they’re not upset?  Businesses that adopt the policy of apologizing sincerely, then asking how can they fix the issue, are in my opinion, always going to have more customer loyalty and repeat purchases than those whose policy is “no wait, let me explain why the delivery chap didn’t get it to you on Wednesday as agreed.”

Certain retail emporiums are brilliant at this and these are the ones at SoffiaB we try and emulate.  I am genuinely sorry if one of our customers receives their robe later than expected,  regardless if it’s our fault or UPS’s or someone else’s.  I want our customers to have their lovely piece of luxury as soon as possible, because I hope it gives them a little joy.

In short excuses are scummy and rarely make anyone feel warm and fuzzy, an apology almost always does.  If my friend had just said I am sorry, when can we catch up again, I would have thought no more about it.

Look Gorgeous, Fee Fabulous - Sophie

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