When you do something that requires an apology, you should sincerely and immediately apologize.
But what happens when you apologize too much…… and for things that don’t require an apology?
If a waitress apologizes every time she comes to your table, it will affect your overall perception of her service.
Customer: “Excuse me, could I get a refill on my drink please?”
Waitress: “Oh, sorry. I’ll bring that for you right away.”
Customer: “Is it possible to get another fork? I dropped mine on the floor.”
Waitress: “Oh, sorry about that. Sure I’ll go get you another one.”
Customer: “I changed my mind and decided to get a coffee after all please.”
Waitress: “Sorry, I’ll be right back with one for you.”
Now the waitress/waiter didn’t have to be sorry for any of that. They are using the word as filler. But the impact can be bad on their tips.
When it comes time to leave the tip, the customer might think something like this; “Well everything seemed fine about the service, but the waitress did say sorry a lot. The service must not have been that great.”
This example can be used for any customer service interaction.
IF you do apologize for something that isn’t your fault then be clear about it.
“I’m sorry the shipping company didn’t deliver your package on time.” is much different than saying “I’m sorry” when a customer calls to say the shipping company didn’t deliver their package on time.
The first sentence shows you are disappointed and on their side. The second sentence can leave them feeling it is your fault the package didn’t get delivered on time.
Apologize when you make a mistake. Don’t use “I’m Sorry” as a way to start a sentence with your customers, or they might look back on the experience and think something was wrong……. even though there wasn’t.