If You Apologize to Customers Sincerely, You Can Cut Formal Complaints (Nearly) in Half


How did Robin Fentress, Director of Customer Support for Bluegrass Cellular, win a $25,000 award and cut formal complaints by 43%? By teaching her customer service team to show empathy and apologize sincerely, of course. 

When Robin and I reconnected this year, I knew I wanted to interview her. We’d met at an ICMI conference in 2017, where I led a workshop titled, “Learn to Apologize to Customers Like You Mean It.” 

Something must’ve clicked for Robin! She recognized that her company’s frontline customer service agents were offering customers rote, insincere “I’m sorry” apologies when they responded to complaints or questions, so she launched a Meaningful Apology program and set the expectation that agents would apologize to customers sincerely, with empathy.

The result? Her team reduced the number of escalated calls by 45%, decreased the number of formal customer complaints by 43%, grew rep satisfaction scores by 26% and improved quality monitoring scores by 5%. Listen to our conversation, so you can hear Robin tell the story of her team’s apology transformation and how this effort resulted in big cash prizes and recognition in 2019 and 2020 in the Calabrio C3 Analytics Awards!

Need my tips on how to write a sincere apology? 

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