The second skill that we have to master for service recovery is to take responsibility. That means that you got to tell the truth. So all you got to do is say, "Sir, we screwed up." "Mr. Tschohl, it's our fault." Instead of saying, "You know, it's the kitchen. These guys messed it up." "It's the county. Half these guys in the county don't have their act together." "Sir I don't believe you. You're probably lying."
My experience is that most employees just lie. I'm talking about 80, 90% of the time. They lie. This is a disaster. It has nothing to do with service recovery. They're hoping the person's never going to remember who they talked to, who they saw, and they're never going to come back because they don't care. So all you got to do in terms of taking responsibility is say, "Mr. Tschohl, it's our fault. We did not ship yesterday as we had planned to do and it's all our fault." "Mr. Smith, I apologize we did not implement it the way you requested. It's our fault."
Take responsibility. That means you don't blame anybody else in the company. It's all you got to do is say either we screwed up, which means your organization. Or if you personally did it, which is very possible, so all you got to do is say look it, "I screwed up and it's all my fault. I made the mistake." People will forgive you if you're honest.