A Heartfelt Apology

Education & Training with www.reallysold.com

Sometimes I feel as though I’m one of those people that likes to nitpick. I’m so fixated on customer service and get so disappointed when it doesn’t live up to even basic standards that I’m often “whinging” about the dodgy hotel experience I had or the conference I attended that did such and such.

I almost think that sometimes I’m a little programmed to see the wrong, which is why it was so nice that a bad service experience yesterday turned into something kinda great.

I’d emailed a property manager to meet my husband at a property at 1.00pm amongst a whole swag of other things, they’d confirmed with “all done”. At 1.13pm I got a call from my husband – no-one had been there to meet him. I called to chase up and long story short, the property manager hadn’t read the part of my email about the appointment.

Her boss apologised to myself and my husband which was fine, but the thing that had me leave the experience with an uplifted feeling was her apology to me on the phone. It was heartfelt. It was genuine. She didn’t offer any excuses. She just assured me that it wouldn’t happen again and took her lumps. She then followed it up with a further email.

We’re human. We mess up. All of us (I know I certainly do!). It’s what you do when you mess up that determines how that relationship will progress.

Option number 1 is:

1. Own it

2. Convey your apology in a heartfelt way

3. Put a plan in place so that it doesn’t happen again

You easily have the power to turn a bad experience into a positive. Where you run into trouble is if you follow the dodgy conflict resolution strategy of Option 2:

1. Bury it

2. Deny it

3. Shift the blame

The next time you mess up – and we know it will happen – what 3 steps will you decide to do?

Kirsty Dunphey is the youngest ever Australian Telstra Young Business Woman of the Year, author of two books (Advance to Go, Collect $1 Million and Retired at 27, If I can do it anyone can www.unleashedknowledge.com) and a passionate entrepreneur who started at age 15 and opened her own real estate agency at 21. Kirsty’s current projects include www.reallysold.com which helps real estate agents write amazing ads, Elephant Property www.elephantproperty.com.au a boutique real estate agency purely for investment property owners, Baby Teresa www.baby-teresa.com a baby clothing line that donates a baby outfit to a baby in need for each one sold. Find out more about Kirsty at her website www.kirstydunphey.com where you can also sign up for her newsletter.

Comments (4)

Loreena and Michael Yeo
3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co. - Prosper, TX
Real Estate Agents

Sounds like you have found your solutions.

As a perfectionist, it's hard for many people that I love to live around me. I have to learn to accept them for whom they are. All I know, God created them that way and He created me this way too. What I use in this area of my life is the grace that was given to me, now I learn to extend to others.

Make it a really good day.

Dec 02, 2009 09:06 PM
Stanton Homes
Stanton Homes - New Home Builder - Raleigh, NC
Design/Build Custom Home Builder in North Carolina

This strikes a chord with me - I've been guilty of reading emails a bit too quickly myself in the past!

Dec 02, 2009 09:12 PM
Mirela Monte
Buyers' Choice Realty - North Myrtle Beach, SC
Myrtle Beach Real Estate

Excellent post Kirsty! 

I had a client who had been a prison guard for over 20 years.  I asked him to give me one main morsel of what he's learnt by doing that job for so many years.  He said:  "It's not my fault!"  ...That's what they all say (the prisoners)... 

It's a mind set.  If it's not your fault, it's also not your responsibility to improve the situation...

Dec 03, 2009 02:21 PM
Ross Quintana
Real E Smarter - Spokane, WA
Real E Smarter Real Estate Coach - 509-362-1966

On the other hand, I had a gal call me about showing her property because I called and left a message for her sellers to call if it was available , telling them we were going out this weekend and she called back once, this was over christmas weekend, then the next day saying I was unprofessional when it was the day we were with clients and they were here for one day. I don't think calling the other agent unprofessional is a way to sell your home. I apologized though I wanted to correct her tude and said we had been busy looking at homes. We didn't have an appointment with her or anything. I just wanted to know if it was available.

Jan 09, 2010 11:39 AM