April 3, 2011

Appreciation Marketing – How Does It Apply to Mistakes?

Mistakes, we all make them.  I know that there are some business people who do not believe that they have ever made a mistake.  There are also some of you who believe that we should never admit a mistake.

If you are an active business person, you try various ideas that define how you do business, ideas that will influence how your customers or prospects view you as a business and whether or not they want to be your associates.

We all try new ideas or plans.  Hopefully, we analyze every aspect of a new idea and try to plan out the details before we implement the action steps.  Sometimes these ideas work; sometimes they do not.  Plan, analyze, implement; still, these steps do not guarantee every step of a plan will work like we anticipate.

Mistakes will happen; do not let them destroy your momentum.  Keep trying new actions or projects.  If something doesn’t work like you thought it would, change your plan and either do it differently or do something else.  It is not that you made a mistake that counts; it is how you deal with the consequences.

First, take responsibility for your actions that led to the mistake that was made.  Do not blame the other person, no matter who it is.  The customer may be partly at fault, but if you take responsibility for the mistake, it will pay off in the end.  Never blame an employee to the customer; your employees work for you, and you are ultimately responsible.  The employee question should be settled behind closed doors.

Next, apologize to all concerned.  If it is not your fault, your apology is like credit in your bank that will pay you back later.  Your apology will win you friends and make you appear to be someone who is not petty but is professional.  It will pay dividends even with others who were not directly involved.

Third, fix the problem.  Do what you need to do to rectify the situation or undo what you did wrong.  If you cannot undo the mistake; do something to make it up to the wronged party.  If it means taking action that costs you more than you would normally spend, do so; you must rectify the situation and make the wronged party “well”.

Finally, make sure that all involved parties know that you have taken responsibility for the problem, know that you have apologized, know that you have taken steps to fix the problem, and know that you have instituted changes to prevent the situation from repeating itself.  Everyone must know that all these steps have been taken.

Remember, it is not that you made a mistake; it is how you recover from it and what you do to make the situation right for the other party.  We all will make mistakes if we attempt new ideas to improve our businesses.  You will become known as a responsible business person and appreciated for your corrective actions.  Just do the right thing.

How about leaving a comment about your past mistakes and how you recovered from them?  Maybe call me at 360-314-8691, or perhaps email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com and let’s discuss your experiences.  I always look forward to hearing from you, and I appreciate your support.

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