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We regret to inform you...

All businesses eventually experience a service failure – errors, delays, or even the intentional or unintentional action of third parties, like hackers or protesters. Yet, service failures needn’t result in a loss of clients’ trust. This is because trust is more than merely a perception of the provider’s ability to make good things happen, in other words, their competence. Clients also expect providers to be motivated to make those good things happen for them. We call this their perception of benevolence. 


Service failures are, arguably, about competence. Yet, providers who earn robust benevolence perceptions find their clients more indulgent of the occasional competence mishap. Indeed, in every step of the trust-repair process – from the remedies and disclosures to the compensations and apologies – conveying benevolent intentions plays a major role in rebuilding clients' trust to and beyond the pre-failure level. 

Our newest talk builds on the insights of the book The Trust Mandate, and reveals the science behind how providers can build high-trust client relationships even in messages that begin: “We regret to inform you…”



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