September 30, 2012

Appreciation Marketing – Accountability

What is accountability? It is taking responsibility for your actions or the actions of your business. Your business provides a product or service for a price. If your business makes a mistake in that action what does it say about your business? As an individual, you make statements or engage in actions, either personal or as a representative of your business. If you make an error in those actions, what does that say about you as a person or as a representative of your business?

We all make mistakes in our daily lives, either business related or personal in nature. Does anyone expect others to be perfect? Does anyone expect perfection from themselves? Does anyone hold themselves up to others as perfect? No one is perfect, and to expect others to be perfect is irrational. Whether dealing with an individual or a business, I never expect perfection. It would be great if it was true, but I would be delusional if I anticipated every interaction with anyone or any business to be executed perfectly.

I have said that I expect anyone, business or individual, to just “do what they say that they will”. What happens when the individual or business fails to do what they say that they will do, no matter the reason for that failure? Then I expect the person or business to take responsibility for their action and for the ramifications that result, admitting that they failed to do what they should have done. Take ownership of your mistakes or errors, admitting what you did and that it was wrong. Then move forward, clearly stating what you are doing to correct the errors.

Depending on the mistakes or errors involved, a person or business may need to take small or large steps to correct their errors. Taking ownership and responsibility of the error must be followed by actions to “fix” the problem caused. Can you undo the problem; can your corrective actions put things back to where they should have been; can the client’s position be made “whole”? If you can do all this, great; do it, and do it quickly, to the satisfaction of all involved. What if you cannot “fix” the problem and make everyone “whole”?

How close can you come to correcting the error where you bring everyone involved to where they should have been? Take the steps to do that as soon as possible, staying in touch with those involved all the way to completion. What is adequate for one person may not be for others. Perhaps different solutions may be necessary for multiple clients who were wronged or slighted. Do not try to apply one fix to everyone, and don’t leave anyone out of the solution. Check, and recheck, with your clients; make your efforts personal and comforting.

I will always support a person or business who, when they make mistakes, takes ownership of those mistakes, and fixes the problems that result, as fast as they possibility can do so. You need to also reassure your clients on how you will prevent these mistakes from happening again and what steps you have implemented to do so. Without that assurance, clients may never have faith in you not to repeat those mistakes again.

What do you do when your business makes a mistake? How do you regain your clients’ faith in your business, its products, or service? This is all part of Appreciation Marketing and will bring you either good or bad karma. Leave your comments here, or call me at 360-314-8691, or email me at I would also love to hear from all you perfect people and businesses since I have never before met anyone who is perfect.

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