We all make mistakes from time to time. No one is exempt from an occasional mishap.
I’m learning to consistently give myself GRACE, as I have been guilty of giving others more grace than myself.
I’m referring to business mistakes that were made accidentally, whether it was something your team did (or didn’t do) or it was something under your company’s responsibility: an oversight, a breakdown in communication, a technological glitch.
Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t beat up your team. Ninety percent of what makes us professional is how we respond to mistakes and crises.
Believe me, from that first reaction, your client is determining if they will continue working with you. So if you make a mistake, own it. Don’t sweep it under the rug. I know you want your clients to think you’re a genius, but nobody’s perfect.
Often, you’ll find that when you accept responsibility and own your mistakes, people will tend to extend you grace.
Here’s how to handle it:
- Explain how you are going to correct the issue.
- Offer to compensate them for the inconvenience (depending on industry). Most clients will be more than satisfied if someone handles the issue quickly.
- Go back and look into exactly why the mistake happened, so you can avoid making the same mistake in the future.
Being straight with your clients will be the foundation for a beautiful professional relationship.
You’ve admitted there was a problem. You’ve apologized sincerely, created a solution, and implemented changes to prevent a recurrence. Now, it’s time to move forward and get back to business.