A few years back she was getting married and placed an order for one of our favor table signs. To make a long story short, I was drowning. Cameron and I were both working full-time and DBN was starting to really take off. I was working 12 hour days to keep up, and failing. A lot. Orders were mixed up, sent to the wrong place, and in the wrong color more often than I like to think. But I always apologized, fixed the issue and went out of my way to make sure the customer was happy with the outcome.
This customer's order was mailed to the wrong side of the US and she was being sent another couple's wedding print. I was able to APOLOGIZE and make her aware of the issue before the wrong print arrived on her doorstep, and already had printed and shipped another one that would arrive in plenty of time for her wedding. She was so grateful and appreciative that I would go out of my way to admit my mistake before she even knew there was an issue.
She messaged me today to place her fifth custom art print order since her wedding those years ago. Had I handled that situation differently, she may have never even come back to me a second time.
My boss at my old job taught me the most important customer service lesson of all time. SAY YOU'RE SORRY.
Say you're sorry, even if it isn't your fault. (but especially if it is) Say you're sorry, even if the customer is so wrong for what they are doing or saying. Say you're sorry, even if it is something small that you don't think will be a big deal to the customer. Say you're sorry even if you are planning on fixing the problem. Saying you're sorry is the BEST place to start, and the only way a situation could possibly me made better. It can be the difference of having a loyal customer or one that will tell all of their friends never to order from you.
Now I am not saying that every sorry will make you a life-long customer. I am not even saying that it will solve the situation, some people just can't be helped. All you can do, is give someone the best customer service you can offer, and they can choose to take it or not.
I needed that customer today, to remind me of this. Because we all make mistakes, and get ahead of ourselves, and are human. But the difference can me made if you just say you're sorry.