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Can “I’m Sorry” Win More Business?
Everyone messes up once in awhile. Even the best, most responsible marketers get it wrong on occasion. When that happens, you have an excellent opportunity to boost sales and cement customer relationships. How? With a simple, personalized letter of apology.
Apologies are powerful. One Forbes contributor described how one company used a direct mail letter to apologize to hundreds of thousands of customers so well, so sincerely, that it ended up selling more merchandise than it would have otherwise. Talk about turning a negative into a positive!
Why do apology letters work?
1. They are relatable. We are all human. We all make mistakes. By apologizing, you humanize your company and create empathy. When done well, addressing the person by name and including personal, relevant details to them, a sincere apology letter can improve the customer relationship.
2. They give you credibility. Nobody likes to apologize. When a company apologizes, it gets a customer's attention. This can give you tremendous credibility that builds trust.
2. It gives you an opportunity to make right. Everybody likes when a wrong is made right. Once you have a customer's attention, an apology letter can create positive feelings about your company and further cement customer loyalty.
It is not necessary to send formal apologies for every misstep, but when it merits, don't be afraid to do so. Keep it simple. Be sincere. Do it well, and you might find that instead of losing customers, you gain more loyal customers instead.