Sincere Apologies | Disney Style Service
Recently, I had a sales person completely blow off a meeting with me. Luckily I did not have to travel to this meeting or I would have really been perturbed. But nonetheless, I was slightly miffed that someone who wanted to sell me a product (one that I was actually interested in) would just blow off a scheduled meeting.
Three weeks went by before he tried to reach out to me again. No personal phone call, no note of apology. He just sent a lame email with a one sentence half-hearted attempt at an apology that went like this “I have to apologize as I have missed a previously scheduled call”. He then went right on to remind me who his company is and why I should do business with them. There were 11 sentences in his email, one about me and 10 about how wonderful his company is. (REMEMBER WIIFM)
I replied to his email stating that I would be passing on the “opportunity” to do business with him, letting him know that if it took him 3 weeks to get back to me with a lame apology, how would the rest of my experiences go with them? His reply back was even lamer than the apology saying he confused my company name with another and thought it was a duplicate so he deleted me. Yep, that made me feel better.
You may consider me harsh, but I will not be doing business with his company (there are others in the world that provide the service I am looking for). So here is my point….
When you screw up, apologize with sincerity. And certainly do not mix your messages.
When I was with Disney, there were occasions where… shall we say… the pixie dust was missing its’ usual magic. Or to say it in plain language, we screwed up. Yes, it does happen at the happiest place on earth. So we had to apologize for our foul up. We were instructed to do what was necessary to make the guest happy. Starting with a heartfelt apology for whatever it was they thought or we actually did to them. We acknowledged exactly what happened and never issues a generic apology.
Then we would listen, and I mean really listen, with both ears to their issue or problem. Next we had to gauge their level or piss-offed-ness and come up with a solution that would not only satisfy them but exceed their expectations. Sometimes just an apology was all that they were looking for, just someone to listen. Other times we had to compensate the guest in some form or fashion. But we always did it with sincerity. Understanding that their problem, no matter how small was REAL to them.
And we never gave them a sales pitch while we were apologizing. We never said “Hey this is Disney, we don’t do anything wrong here”. Unlike my experience with the contractor, we never made excuses or gave elaborate explanations. We got right to the point and offered sincere apologies.
Elton John has a song “Sorry Seems to Be The Hardest Word”. If you work in any type of human to human environment and feel it is hard to say you’re sorry, you need to get over it. By investing in a sincere “I am sorry” is a real small way towards a successful and profitable future, and the returns can be enormous.
For more on Disney Style Service and small business marketing, check out my free special report “Systematic MAGIC, How to Disnify Any Business”. Vance Morris is a Walt Disney World Resort Management Alumni, having spent 10 years as an executive in the Resorts. He runs the only Disney Service & Direct Response Marketing business on the planet. Here he coaches companies to create Disney Style Service Systems and then monetize them through direct response marketing. He is also the GKIC 2015 Marketer of the Year. He can be reached at www.DeliverServiceNow.comor firstname.lastname@example.org .