Friday, January 10, 2014

Recovering from Dropping the Ball

If you’ve been in business long enough, there will come a point in time when you or an employee will “drop the ball”. Mistakes happen and not every situation will benefit from further reprimanding after the mistake has been made.  While your ultimate goal is to avoid making the same mistake in the future, there are always new mistakes to be made. In the meantime, you have to resolve the current problem if you except to keep the customer. It’s a good idea to have a set of actions in place to recover from this “ball dropping”.

First, own the mistake. If you made the mistake, admit it and don’t pin the blame on someone else. If another employee made the mistake, they should do the same.  Customers and supervisors alike respond better and recover more quickly when you skip all the excuses and move on to solving the problem, which shows sincerity.

Next, ask the customer what you can do to make up for the mistake. There are limitations to what you can offer them (one free meal is reasonable, but you can’t hand over a $100 gift card), but work within those limitations to give them something to show them you appreciate their business.

Finally, the hard part comes in—making the situation right. You have to deliver on your promise, even if it means you are late or over budget. Then go the extra mile to not only reassure them that his won’t happen again, but make them feel like you can trust them. People remember bad service, but they also remember excellent service. Mediocre, run of the mill service is what will be forgotten. So chase down that ball, pick it up, and score some points to get your team and your customer back on track. Make it happen!
© 2014 eMarketing 4 Business LLC

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