The Amazing Power of Simply Saying “I’m Sorry”

Sometimes you just mess up.

And when you do, it’s amazing how much power there is by simply saying, “I’m sorry.”

A few weeks ago I wrote here about a negative experience trying to download a free guide from a website.

The other day I received an e-newsletter from the firm. I suppose they added me to their subscriber list based on my unsuccessful attempt to download their guide. I was ready to unsubscribe, but decided that instead I would share my frustration with them.

So I sent them a simple note (“A recent blogpost I wrote re: my interaction with your firm might provide some interesting insight into your practices. Note the comments.”) with a link to the blogpost. A few hours later I received this response:


You make a very valid point, and I apologize for the way I may have come across. I didn’t intend to insult you. We’ve been ripped off in the past so we’re a bit sensitive to these types of requests. I agree your response is much more appropriate, and a good lesson going forward for me, pick up the phone if I have a question.

Again, I’m very sorry. I’ve attached the guide you had originally requested.



Nice. I feel much better.

Why did this work?

John combined a quick, genuine response with a fix to the problem – an excellent example of how to deal with negative comments.

The lesson? Every communication with every person in your community is a chance to help people feel better about you and your hospital. When you mess up, most of the time you can fix it by simply saying “I’m sorry.”


What we think

Visit our What We Think page to download our free e-book “Responding to Negative Comments in Social Media.”

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