How To's

Mistakes Happen: How To Say You’re Sorry (Hint: A Gift Can Help)

iStock_000015026872SmallWhether you’re a small start-up or a corporation with a centennial history, one thing is sure: mistakes happen. Typos are made. Incorrect orders are shipped. Deadlines are missed.

Sometimes it’s just a tiny flub, a miscommunication of a minor detail perhaps. But other times, the mistake can be major. A coding error in an ecommerce website results in shipping costs calculating incorrectly. The thousands of brochures that debuts a new product is mistakenly printed with the wrong specs. Delivery of tradeshow materials is inadvertently scheduled the day after the show starts.

No matter if the mistake is large or small, it is how you handle the situation that matters. No person or process can be perfect 100% off the time, so it’s imperative to know what to do when the unexpected error occurs. The Fast Company article “5 Steps To Reclaim Your Credibility After You Screw Up” says it is possible to recover from mistakes, but only if you regain your credibility so your customers can trust you again.

When you screw up, let customers know you’ll fix the problem.
When you screw up, let customers know you’ll fix the problem.

To start the recovery process, follow these five steps:
Step 1: Own It
Step 2: Apologize (Sincerely!)
Step 3: Look For—And Communicate—Improvements
Step 4: Stop The Self-Flagellation
Step 5: Learn From It

To read the entire article, click here.

One thing the article doesn’t address is giving a gift as a way to show you’re sorry and make amends. We’re not talking about trying to buy your way out of a problem. Rather, a simple token of appreciation to show your customers that you care. Something small, yet sincere.

Some “times” you have to say you’re sorry.
Some “times” you have to say you’re sorry.

For example, an imprinted screwdriver can be gift boxed with an enclosed card that says, “Sorry we screwed up. We’re fixing the problem immediately!” Or choose a subtly decorated clock to show that some “times” you have to say you’re sorry. For small mix-ups, a candy gift can often sweeten the recipient’s day.

Beyond a sincere apology and any necessary reparations, there are many ways to use a gift to say you’re sorry. Just make sure the gift is appropriate for the situation, aligns with your overall brand messaging and, most importantly, is something the recipient will appreciate, keep and use.

Gaffes. Missteps. Oversights. They happen. Don’t let the opportunity pass by to show customers you do care and are truly sorry for the inconvenience. The little things make a big difference with their overall satisfaction with the experience you provide.


However you address the situation, make sure to give the gift in a timely manner—which means you’ll need to have items on hand for immediate use. Need help? We’re your source. Book an appointment by clicking here or call us at 248-538-4700 to find out about all your options. You won’t be sorry!