Learn from Skype how to apologize in digital age

When was the last time a company said sorry to you? How did you feel after they apologized? How did you feel if that was not the first time you got annoyed by the same issue?

A friend recently found an inappropriate charge on his phone bill; the company said sorry. What happened was, someone was charged an inappropriate amount and has to go all the way to the customer service center, queue and talk to the customer service offer simply to get the right bill.

Don’t forget the fact: your customers are now powered with digital tools and they can express all their bad feeling in any way they like; twitter, Facebook, blog, online forum, friends, …

An apology is not sincere if it can only be heard other than be felt.

How to Apologize to Your Customer

Ask yourself a simple question, what is the right way to apologize as a person? Then, you know how to apologize as a company. Last month, Skype apologized sincerely for “skype outage” incident.

  1. Say you are sorry
  2. Describe the problem so that your customer can see that you do understand his “pain”
  3. Fix the problem
  4. Make it up to your customer; it could be a gift, a voucher, a discount and etc. The voucher Skype gave is only worth $1; but it’s not about the value. What customers see is a responsible brand who is serious about any trouble caused to their customers.

Step 4 is essential for your customers to “feel” your apology. Don’t skip it. Besides, it’s an opportunity to build a strong brand and trigger positive word of mouth online.