Anyone in business with years of experience will likely be able to cite a variety of past mistakes, whether they involve missing a meeting, not delivering content by a deadline or upsetting a client. The reality is, it’s impossible to be error-free in the demanding world of business, where deadlines and individual client preferences are numerous.
Ideally, businesses have a structure in place that helps prevent mistakes before they occur, even though they may still happen. As a result, businesses should realize that a mistake shouldn’t be a deal-breaker. A mistake can present an opportunity to solidify a client relationship, by giving you a chance to make up for it and more.
Here are five simple strategies to address mistakes in business, with integrity and honesty:
1. Provide Clients With Transparency
Businesses that make a mistake and refuse to tell a client about it until questioned will find themselves at the receiving end of an understandably irate client. Giving clients a heads-up shows integrity and a steadfast commitment to making it right, especially if they are not yet aware of the issue.
Ideally, you can address the issue with the client in person, or at least by phone. Showing an apologetic tone in an email is difficult. When apologizing, don’t beat around the bush. Directly clarify the mistake, why it happened and the resolution in progress. By telling a customer or client about a mistake before they realize it on their own, you enforce a willingness to take responsibility and right wrongs.
2. Offer Reassurance on Resolving the Issue
Being transparent about a business mistake is just the first step. It’s equally important to clarify with a client how you will resolve the issue. Since the last thing anyone wants is for the partnership to dissolve with a refund or termination of a contract, the best route is to offer a clear plan on how the project’s results will improve. You should also clarify what steps have been implemented to ensure the mistake does not occur again.
For example, if a PR agency sends out a press release for a client with erroneous content, it can immediately notify the client of the issue, while ensuring them that this round of pitching and its corrective follow-up round will be free of charge. This shows a business taking responsibility for its mistakes, while also offering a solid plan as to how it can resolve the issue without taking more resources or money from the client.
“A lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity.” – Dalai Lama
3. Ask for Their Resolution Idea
After providing your own reassurance and strategy to amend the mistake, you should ask the client if there’s anything else you can do. If you proposed a firm plan for correcting the issue, then it’s likely they will simply say no — though the question provides room to make things right if they are not satisfied with your proposal.
If you intend on providing a discount due to your mistake, it’s better to ask the customer for their idea of a resolution before offering a discount, as their ideal discount may be less than what you initially intended on proposing. By accepting their idea for a resolution, the business is essentially admitting all wrongdoing while increasing the confidence of the client.
Additionally, for whatever the customer proposes as a solution, it’s a good idea to increase their desire slightly. For example, if a customer feels that a 10 percent discount is fair, counter with something like, “10 percent is very fair, and I’m very apologetic for our mistake. As a result, I will provide you with 15 percent off as a thank you for your understanding.”
4. Value the Power of Word-of-Mouth
Most clients are knowledgeable enough to know that mistakes happen. Their evaluation of a business incorporates how it responds to its errors. Especially in the digital age, reviews of a business are prevalent on social media and various review platforms.
A business that goes above and beyond to amend its mistake, by informing the customer of its error and offering a fair compensation, is likelier to be praised in reviews as taking charge of mistakes. Combined with other reviews from clients who ideally did not experience mistakes, a business will have an excellent review presence online.
“Free publicity and word of mouth is probably the best and cheapest form of advertising. Learn to use it to your advantage.” – Richard Branson
5. Don’t Stress That It Wasn’t Purposeful
If a client or consumer has spent time and money on your services, then they likely already know your mistake was just that, not some intentional sabotage. As a result, continually stressing that your mistake wasn’t on purpose is a waste of time, especially when you can be spending the dialogue on ideas for resolution and compensation. Taking the lead on amending a mistake is significantly more important than declaring its intent or lack thereof.
Mistakes happen in business, quite often. Eliminating these mistakes is ideal, but when they do occur, it’s possible for a business to salvage a client relationship with transparency, reassurance and a viable resolution.
How do you recover from a business mistake? Comment below!
Image courtesy of Twenty20.com
3 Questions Your Startup Needs to Answer in Order to Maintain Focus
When I was a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps at 22 years old, one of my captains at The Basic School was a rugged Marine who’d been awarded the Bronze Star for defending an isolated combat outpost from repeated Taliban attacks. (more…)
3 Startup Workplace Trends You Need to Carefully Consider
One of the most notable parts of startup culture from the outside looking in is trends. You know the stereotype of the startup CEO — he’s wearing a hoodie that probably cost hundreds of dollars and running meetings from a bean bag chair. However, trendiness isn’t always the right choice for your business. It can be good for your startup to branch out, but some risks aren’t worth taking. (more…)
How Your Startup Can Effectively Collaborate With Influencers
As a startup, your priority is to attract, engage, and turn potential clients into lucrative, long-term consumers. And the optimal way to make this possible is by incorporating startup influencer marketing.
Most consumer brands these days collaborate with influencers to grow their business. Why? Because these individuals have built a lot of trust behind them, they can promote your product or services to their audience and get them to trust your brand. This is a huge sales-driving strategy, especially for new and upcoming businesses. (more…)
12 Things That Will Help Build Your Brand Reputation for Your Startup
Brand reputation drives the success of businesses, irrespective of what industry you are in. Currently, there are approximately 543,000 startups every month. 70% of these do not survive beyond two years, 50% do not exceed five years, and a third fail to cross the ten-year mark. Only a quarter of these businesses can survive beyond 15 years. (more…)
The Art of Intentionality: One Simple Idea to Overhaul Every Area of Your Life
How To Be A Badass Goal Digger: 2 Golden Rules Successful Achievers Never Break
10 Pieces of Advice for Young Aspiring Entrepreneurs
29 Quotes That Will Inspire You to Write More
The 6 P’s of Prevailing in Pandemic Times
55 Inspirational Quotes That Will Change Your Life
(Images) 52 Motivational Picture Quotes For An Epic Year Of Success
30 Famous Quotes That Will Inspire Success In You
72 Positive Thinking Quotes For More Inner Strength & Growth
40 Rare Motivational and Inspirational Picture Quotes
3 Prince EA Videos To Change Humanities Path To Greatness
(Video) What Is Success? An Entrepreneurial Story To Inspire You
(Inspirational Video) What If Today You Knew You Were Going To Take Your Last Breath?
How To Make Enough Money From A Blog To Quit Your Job – Kate McKibbin
How Finding Your Passion And Becoming An Entrepreneur Can Lead To Happiness – Chiquita Searle
- Life4 weeks ago
How I Created a Personal Development Plan to Change My Life Forever
- Entrepreneurs4 weeks ago
How to Create a High Performance Business Mindset Through Ancient Stoic Philosophy
- Life4 weeks ago
This is What Happens When You Live Life Looking Forward
- Life4 weeks ago
Perspective: It’s Never Been More Important
- Motivation3 weeks ago
6 Lessons From Some of the Greats to Keep Your Mindset Strong
- Life3 weeks ago
5 Ways to Fight Worry and Grow Stronger
- Success Advice3 weeks ago
7 Ways I Mastered My Schedule While Managing My Job, My Side Hustle, and Homeschooling During a Pandemic
- Success Advice3 weeks ago
Why Children Are the Best Salespeople and How You Can Learn From Them