Why you should say "Thank you" not "Sorry"
Sales & Marketing

Why you should say "Thank you" not "Sorry"

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Let's dive into a nifty little tactic that might feel a bit backwards at first, but trust me, it's pure gold for customer satisfaction. Ready to flip the script on apologies? Here we go!


Next time there's a hiccup with a customer order, try thanking them instead of apologizing. Like, “Thanks for your patience” over “Sorry for the wait.” It's a small tweak, but it can make a big difference in how your customers feel.

Why thanking works 🤔

So, why does thanking beat apologizing? It shifts the focus to your customer's virtues (like their amazing patience). Everyone loves a pat on the back for being awesome, right?

In past experiments customers were 15% more satisfied and 1/3 more likely to complete a post-purchase survey,

What to watch out for ⚠️

This trick is super for small slip-ups. But if you've got a major mess-up on your hands (think valet crashing a car-level disaster), a heartfelt apology is your best bet with some sort of compensation to make up for it.

How to do it ✅

  1. Small oopsies: If you’re just a bit late on a delivery or mixed up an order, drop a “Thank you for understanding” in your email or phone call. It's like saying, “You’re great for hanging in there.”
  2. Bigger boo-boos: For more significant service failures, pair your thanks with a sweetener, like a discount or a freebie. It's like saying, “Thanks for being cool, here's a treat!”
  3. Disaster-level drama: If it's a full-blown catastrophe, skip the thanks and go straight for a sincere, “We’re terribly sorry.” Then, do your best to make it right.

This approach can turn a potential customer service fail into a feel-good moment. Who knew saying thanks could be so powerful?

So next time things don't go as planned, remember: a little gratitude can go a long way.

Want to learn more? 🤓

If you want to learn more about this topic, you can dig into the nerdy details in the original marketing study.

Quote of the week 💬

"Thanking customers for their patience is acknowledging their value, not just apologizing for your delay."

About the author
Gabriel Mays, the Co-Founder and CEO of POPSMASH
Gabriel A. Mays
Gabriel Mays' Website
Co-Founder & CEO at POPSMASH
Before POPSMASH, Gabe was a Director at GoDaddy and founded two startups. He was also a Marine Corps Captain, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. He lives with his wife and two kids on Cape Cod, MA.

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