As the lyrics of Queen’s We Are the Champions share,
“and bad mistakes, I’ve made a few.”
We are human, just like you, and from time to time, we make a mistake. Fortunately, bad mistakes are pretty rare, but run-of-the-mill goofs do happen. More often than not, mistakes we make go unnoticed by our clients.
We believe in the adage that customers appreciate you more for how you respond when things go bad, than they do when things are rosy. That is even more true when you are proactive and let a client or customer know you’ve made a mistake, and how you’re going to fix it, BEFORE they tell you about it.
Here’s an example – in November we accidentally billed a client for a project that was completed the prior month. It wasn’t a large amount in terms of annual billing, and went unnoticed by the client – they paid the bill and all was good.
In December, we realized we charged them more than we should have. We let the client representative know what happened, issued a credit and adjusted the December invoice to reflect the correction. Of course it was the right thing to do, but to the client, it was yet another sign that we are a trusted partner in their business.
Doing the right thing is sometimes uncomfortable. It may mean refunding money to a customer, or turning down a project because you won’t be able to meet the deadlines. However, doing the right thing is never the wrong decision, no matter how painful.
Trust us, it’s far more comfortable when YOU are the one owning and admitting a mistake. It’s always better to play a strong offense than a weak defense. So the next time you find yourself worried a customer or client will find out you made a mistake, pick up the phone and own it. The results may surprise you.