Fess Up to Your Mess Up

Have you ever called a service provider with a complaint? Most of us have, and most of us can recall an unpleasant experience or two. Whether the customer service folks on the other end seemed disingenuous, or the company did not do something they said they would, we can all relate to the frustration of feeling dissatisfied. As business owners, this is the exact feeling we aim to avoid. How can we abolish the stereotype of cold and unfriendly business? By practicing the art of the “Fess Up.”

Step 1: Acknowledge

The first step in rectifying an error is to acknowledge it, and that your customer is right in bringing it up to you. Acknowledging the error helps demonstrate the care and concern you have for your clients, and goes a long way in keeping their trust. It shows you and your company are taking responsibility. Saying something like, “Gosh, you are absolutely right! It looks like we did make a mistake here,” is validating to clients and helps them feel heard. Of course, if you’d like to apologize as well, this is the perfect time to do so! Just be sure you are genuine when you do say sorry. An insincere apology can be worse than none at all.

Step 2: Correct

It’s best to be clear about what you are going to do to fix the error—clients appreciate being kept in the loop. It’s also helpful to explain your next steps so the customer is confident the situation will be resolved. Be sure to set clear and realistic expectations about what you can and cannot do. Creating a partnership with a client is exactly what you’re aiming for here, and that is best done on a foundation of honesty.

Step 3: Follow-Up

The follow-up call is an excellent way to go above and beyond in showing your dedication to client happiness. Set a reminder to give your customer a ring after your intreaction to see how things are going. While you’re at it, use this follow-up as an opportunity to offer additional assistance, even if it’s unrelated to the original complaint. Clients are often surprised and delighted you’ve remembered their woes, and are grateful to have the opportunity to provide more feedback.

Armed with this problem solving method, you’ll surely build loyalty and recognition among your client base. Your clients are human beings, and like most humans, they yearn to feel heard and supported. After all, improving customer experience is a win-win!

Additional reads you may find interesting...

View All
Person talks on phone in snowy outdoor environment
Small Business Tips

How to manage difficult customer conversations this holiday season: 3 examples + tips

2021 Legal Trends Report: gavel with scale of justice on desk
Legal Practice Tips

Clio 2021 Legal Trends Report: in summary

Content marketing and social media tips: side view of photo editor working in a creative office
Small Business Tips

Content marketing & social media: 4 easy tips for getting started

A single pine tree on a rocky summit
Small Business Tips

Meeting customer expectations during a holiday season like no other

Person at desk in front of computer waiting on phone
Receptionist Tips

Have trouble handling the emotional weight of phone calls? You’re not alone.

Choosing a business number: overhead view of faded yellow vintage telephone with notebook and numbers on monochrome background
Small Business Tips

What your phone number says about your business

How to find and analyze your website traffic: two people look at a computer in a bright office space
Small Business Tips

How to find and analyze your website traffic

Using virtual receptionists for part-time answering - Ruby

Using virtual receptionists for part-time answering

What is a conversation worth: illustration of a confused person with complicated calculations hovering above their head
Small Business Tips

What is a conversation really worth? We calculated the exact dollar amount.

Top 3 legal marketing strategies for 2022: man looks at laptop
Legal Practice Tips

Top 3 legal marketing strategies for 2022

24/7 live chat: a Ruby chat specialist and a potential new client use computers in split screen with a live chat window between them
About Ruby

How Ruby’s 24/7 live chat solution grows your business and saves you time

Why empathy matters for your business: person listening to another person in cafe with laptop, papers, and coffee
Small Business Tips

Why empathy matters for your business

SEO and branding: star-crossed lovers—an illustration of two people with crowns surrounded by flowers
Small Business Tips

SEO and branding: star-crossed lovers

Title card: Authentic small business marketing with Jamie Adams of Scorpion

Ruby partner feature: Authentic small business marketing with Scorpion

Using chat as a sales tool: hands using laptop
Small Business Tips

4 ways to leverage live chat as a sales tool

Try Ruby Risk Free

Call to talk to a live virtual receptionist and hear why 10,000+ companies Ruby.

Call Ruby Sign Up
Sales Support

Already a Ruby customer?

Let’s get started.

Ready to turn more callers into customers?

Missed connections translate to lost revenue. With Ruby, you have a partner in gaining and retaining customers. Plus, we’re so confident you’ll love our service, we offer a 21 day money-back guarantee*.

*Ruby is delighted to offer a money-back guarantee to first time users of both our virtual receptionist service and our chat service. To cancel your service and obtain a full refund for the canceled service (less any multi-service discount), please notify us of the service you wish to cancel either within 21 days of your purchase of that service or before your usage exceeds 500 receptionist minutes/50 billable chats, as applicable, whichever occurs sooner. Some restrictions may apply.