Many times in customer support, you need to have challenging conversations with customers. You may encounter users who are experiencing difficulties with your product or service and who require your guidance and expertise to help them resolve the problem. ‘Sorry for the inconvenience' is one of the most commonly used expressions in such scenarios. However, it often happens that this statement is much more used and that the client finds it "less personalized".
We need to constantly reinvent the wheel and offer genuine help to customers. Therefore, adopting newer, more empathetic apology statements, is a must have for a good customer experience.
So, what are your alternatives to “Sorry for the inconvenience” that have worked well for you in the past? We’d love it if you can share some interesting experiences in the comments below.
Here is a super cool blog by Freshcaller which explains why we must constantly reinvent the wheel and offer authentic help to customers.
Being able to apologize is a key customer service master skill.
An apology is important whenever a customer may think it is warranted, not necessarily when you do.
And if you do apologize, make sure it’s an authentic, meaningful apology, not a fakey-fakey apology delivered through gritted teeth.
I think your “sorry for the inconvenience” is fine, as long as your delivery is sincere, but here are other authentic apologies I often recommend.
I’m sorry that this happened.
I'm so sorry for the misunderstanding.
I'm so sorry that we let you down.
Only the last of those three says that we did anything wrong, but they are all valid apologies.
Those along the lines of these next ones, however, are worse than no apology at all:
I'm sorry that you feel that way. That's a fake apology.
Even worse, “I’m sorry IF you feel that way.”
“I’m sorry, I had other jobs that took priority. Now that one’s just plain rude. Now it may be true, but it’s (say it with me):
Author • Forbes Senior Contributor • Customer Service Consultant
Click here to chat live with Micah
firstname.lastname@example.org • micahsolomon.com
If there’s anything I’ve had to reinvent every time I’m with an irate customer was to apologise but not sound fake (all the more harder when that customer has been stuck with us, and you know there are ongoing problems!)
While the problem certainly exists, and we understand where it may impact customers, I try to spend a few more seconds to learn from the customer themselves on what’s been affected:
This not only gives me a chance to be in there shoes for just a second, but the customer also sees that my apology doesn’t come from a textbook, but from an analysis view too (maybe?) -- this has helped me to structure my apologies, our next steps and the sincerity usually comes through.
P.S. I’ve used “..sorry for the inconvenience” many a time, but not without a spin to it, either before or after the phrase. “I really am sorry for the inconvenience..”, “We’re sorry for the inconvenience this has caused you, we just didn’t see this getting affected that way and it’s our fault...”
This is really lovely. I love your reinvention principle, ThatCommunityGuy! I’ve never heard it put exactly like that...til now.