Customer service strategies

Excuses v. Reasons

“Sorry, I’ve been swamped.”

“Apologies, the system was down.”

“Looks like the courier broke down.”

These all sound like excuses to me.

😢 😢 😢 😢 😢

The best customer service teams are teams that offer no excuses. No matter the bad experience for the customer, I don’t provide an excuse. I prefer to provide a reason, but a reason followed with a promise to fix the situation.

Excuses imply that I’m not responsible for the poor experience.

Reasons assume responsibility for fixing the situation.

“Sorry for the delay. I will get on to that right now.”

“Apologies, I will seek to fix that immediately.”

“Oh dear, there appears to have been a breakdown. I’ll get this sent to you immediately.”

It can be challenging to avoid giving excuses when a customer is agitated. You want to deflect the grief to an unknown person so that the incoming feedback gets also deflected.

But I’ve found excuses make the situation worse.

It means the person with the grievance doesn’t feel they are speaking to the decision-maker.

They are wondering, “Can this person fix my problem?”

This lack of confidence means their next step is to ask the customer service rep to put them through to their manager.