Suppose you own a public relations company and you've missed an important deadline. How should you handle your client's complaint? Don't make an excuse like "I've been swamped with projects, so I haven't had a chance to get started on yours yet." Customers don't care about your work overload. They care that you made a commitment to complete the project by a certain date but failed to follow through.
Rather than make excuses, admit your error upfront. Then do whatever it takes to make things right for your client. Offer to work after hours to complete the order at a significant discount and deliver it to your client's home that evening. When you take full responsibility to correct your mistake, a potentially volatile situation becomes an opportunity to win the customer's loyalty.