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Effectively apologising to customers

Posted on January 20, 2016 by admin

Quite often, the words ‘I’m sorry’ aren’t enough for an unsatisfied customer. Whether it is because you had to deny a request, made a mistake with an order or left a customer waiting to be served for too long, there will always a time when a business will need to apologise to their customer.

While it might seem tricky trying to find the right way to apologise to a customer, businesses should always remember that apologies are key to showing a business’s commitment to meeting their needs and satisfying their requests.

So instead of coming off as insincere with just an ‘I’m sorry’, here are some tips for delivering a genuine apology to a disgruntled customer:

Businesses need to be able to recognise the kind of language that conveys regret and remorse, and the kind that can turn an apology into a dismissal or condescension. Before apologising to a customer, make sure the words you use have any hint of defensiveness. Being testy or on edge can also make your apology come across as a non-apology.

Actively listening to a customer’s problem can help businesses come up with a good apology. It helps businesses understand exactly why they are issuing an apology. Customers are more likely to accept an apology if they believe that their struggle has been truly understood.

Sometimes what you are apologising for isn’t necessarily your fault. But if you’re the person who is representing as the face of a business, the blame will need to go somewhere. Apologise on behalf of your team and acknowledge where things went wrong. Taking responsibility shows customers that their issue hasn’t been taken lightly.

If a customer wants to know why something went wrong, the business must be able to tell them why. However, businesses also need to cushion an explanation with adequate measures of blame, e.g. “Your problem happened because of X. However, this is no reason why you had to wait for so long.”

Tell the customer what comes next or what options are available. Customers want to know that the business will actually make things right again.

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Government increases cash flow support for businesses

Posted on March 27, 2020 by admin

The Australian Government has increased support for businesses to manage cash flow challenges under the ongoing COVID-19 circumstances.

The Boosting Cash Flow for Employers measure announced on 12 March 2020 will be increased to provide up to $100,000 for eligible small and medium-sized businesses. To be eligible employers must have been established prior to 12 March 2020 and have an aggregated annual turnover of less than $50 million and employ workers.

The measure will provide employers with a payment equal to 100% of the tax withheld from wages and salaries. This is a rise from the original 50%, with maximum payments being increased from $25,000 to $50,000 and minimum payments being increased from $2,000 to $10,000.

Employers will receive payments from 28 April 2020 from the ATO as automatic credit in the activity statement system upon lodging eligible upcoming activity statements.

Eligible businesses will be provided with an additional payment during July – October 2020. The payment will be equal to the total amount received under the Boosting Cash Flow for Businesses scheme. For monthly and quarterly activity statement lodgers, these payments will be provided as automatic credit in the activity statement system for each lodgement up until October 2020.

The Government has also introduced the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme to support the flow of credit for small and medium enterprises (SME) by providing a guarantee of 50% to participating SME lenders for new unsecured loans that will be used for working capital. To be eligible, SMEs will have a turnover of up to $50 million and the loans must comply with the following terms:

The SME Guarantee Scheme will still require businesses to repay these loans and approval is subject to regular lending requirements. The Scheme will commence by early April 2020 and be available until 30 September 2020.

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