Let’s be frank, business is often personal. So what happens when our business or we, as the employee or business owner ‘stuff up’? Do we take it as a reflection on our own character? Do we bury our head in the sand and pretend that it didn’t happen? How do we deal with it? It can be quite challenging.
Being up front and honest about a mistake or weakness in business is important. Now that we are being completely open and honest, has the business you work for, ever been known for any of the following?
· Providing great follow up but negligible customer service.
· Only following up during the initial sales process.
· Trashing (or never replying to) website enquiries.
· Reducing telecommunication costs by rarely returning phone calls.
· Only replying to emails that could be answered with yes/no responses.
· Having a deliberate policy to under quote and over invoice.
If you have recognised a particular area of weakness (either from the above list or some other concern), use this opportunity to re-connect with lost customers. Be open and honest about where you were at and where you are now, and create some buzz around it.
If you would like some practical ideas that you could implement yourself for example, here are some tips.
Pick up the phone.
I have heard of many instances where companies have given a new employee a list of past customers to call/re-connect with in an attempt to generate some new sales/business.
Review your advertising campaigns and address your shortcomings.
I recently saw a new advertisement for a skin clinic that I visited last year. Even though I have current skin care needs, the new advertisement did not persuade me to visit them again. Had the new advertisement featured a headline – “Improved waiting times”, I would have considered visiting again.
Send an email to all website enquiries that weren’t answered.
Although it may be too late to capitalise on the original sales/website enquiry, it is worth sending an apology note to all people who had sent an enquiry and didn’t get a response/follow up.
As a person in business, we can capitalise on our personal relationships rather than hide from our mistakes, we are ideally positioned to be leaders in our market.