No one is 100% infallible. We’re all human, mistakes happen and whether it is a small mishap or a major foul-up the truth is that how you HANDLE your mistakes makes all the difference in the world.
Here are a few suggestions on what to do if (when?) you mess up (AKA make a mistake):
· First and foremost the most important thing is to own up to your mistake. Trying to pass the blame to someone else or ignoring that a mistake has happened in the first place will never work. Both “solutions” are bound to get you into more hot water than you are already in. Bottom-line, people appreciate honesty.
· React in a timely manner. Owning up to a mistake is an honorable strategy but frankly, only if you do so in a reasonable amount of time. Once you find out about the mistake, move quickly to inform those who will be impacted by what has occurred.
· And timeliness is not the only factor. Carefully assess the situation and see what you can do to rectify the problem. People are more apt to remain cool, calm and collected when a mistake has occurred just as long as they also know that a solution is being executed.
· Make up for the mistake and any inconvenience that has been caused by providing a “make-good” of sorts. This can include a discount, offering something (product or service) for free, or anything that is appropriate to the magnitude of mistake.
· Follow-up once the mistake has been corrected and make certain that the situation has been taken care of and that the client is satisfied with the solution.
Once again, mistakes happen, however a client who has had a mistake successfully handled will turn out to be a more loyal client and will tell more people about their positive experience with your company than if nothing happened at all.
Of course that’s not to say that you should be looking for opportunities to make mistakes. These suggestions simply reinforce the idea that HOW you fix a problem or mistake will go a long way to retaining happy clients.