In life, and in business, there will be times when things will go wrong. Sometimes it’s due to a mistake on your part or on the part of your employees. Or it may be the result of an unpredictable accident or unlikely circumstance. Either way, it’s likely your clients or employees will be affected by an issue in your company at some point. When that happens, you want to be prepared to offer an apology that allows clients and employees to continue to trust your company. Here are some ways to make your apologies more impactful:

Apologize Less

You may assume that the more often you apologize the better your clients and employees will understand how you value their time. However, it can have the opposite effect. When you apologize too often, people may assume that you make a lot of mistakes or aren’t trustworthy, despite a lot of business issues being circumstantial. If an issue isn’t the direct cause of the actions of your company, consider an alternative to an apology. One thing you can do to avoid excessive apologies is to thank instead of saying sorry. For example, if your software goes down or you have a delay in shipping products to clients, thank them for their patience instead of apologizing for the delay. This gives clients a compliment while increasing their trust in your organization.

Give Apologies Quickly

The longer you wait to provide an apology, the more likely complaints and unrest are to surface. As soon as you are aware of an issue and the people it will affect, provide an apology and get an explanation out to those people. This will help employees and clients feel informed and confident as the problem is being dealt with.

Focus on Future Actions

Simply apologizing for the mistake may be enough in the moment, but eventually you will need to explain how you will avoid the error in the future. For example, if there’s an error in your system that is causing missing hours on employees’ paychecks you should apologize for the mistake first. Then, explain how you intend to correct the missing pay and what is being done to fix the system error. Your apologies will be more meaningful if others know you are taking the situation seriously and doing what you can to resolve the problem.

Mistakes are bound to happen. Apologizing for those mistakes can help employees and clients better trust your business. Start following these tips today to create meaningful apologies.