Last Updated Apr 8, 2009 9:21 AM EDT
Do you apologize to customers when you or your staff does them wrong? Or do you default to the Legal Shuffle, mincing words and sidestepping responsibility to avoid the dreaded "liability" should a court case come to fruition.
As Harvard Business Publishing blogger Peter Bregman points out, a simple apology probably keeps you out of more courtrooms than the other way around.
"Apologies work. Real, heartfelt empathy between one person and another diffuses anger and builds relationships. Defensiveness and resistance to admit mistakes creates anger."Recall back to your last bad customer experience -- that time in a store or waiting room when you were steaming like an overdone pot roast -- and think what a sincere apology could have done to calm you down, maybe even build some loyalty.
Free up your own employees to ask forgiveness and pledge better service when a customer has suffered.