What do you do when you make a mistake? Do you ‘fess up and say you did it but will do your best to ensure it doesn’t happen again? Or do you try to make it appear as if it were some strange anomaly that is so rare that it doesn’t deserve comment?
We all make mistakes, and the greatest, most admired among us are regularly those that admit mistakes, apologize and move on. The same is true for businesses yet so many try option 2 above by sweeping the truth under the rug in a “pay no attention to the man behind the screen” fashion.
What is the result of this behavior? Well, it’s no different in business than it is in our personal lives, it diminishes trust and respect. What does that mean for business? It means customers begin shopping around for someone who is trustworthy, in other words, loss of loyalty. No business can afford too much of that despite the number of businesses who seem to act like they can (e.g. airlines and internet/cable TV providers to name a few).
Now you might ask, “what is a good strategy to make sure my business does this correctly?” Good question. It starts from the inside, as most things do in a business, where the leaders are clear that when mistakes are made, the company message will simply be, “we made a mistake, we’re sorry and we’re going to make things right for our customers.” From there they have to empower their employees to do the same in the mistakes they make too. They must train their employees on what exactly to do and what solutions to employ. This all takes courage, humility and trust.
If you’re game and want to build a culture focused on customers and one that grows trust and loyalty, be courageous and take a step to admitting mistakes and providing real solutions…and cascading that philosophy through everything that’s done in your operation.
QUESTION: What is your policy on mistakes, do you admit them clearly and provide solutions no matter how painful? Do you give your employees tools to do that too…on the spot?