In case you’ve made a business mistake that might cost you relationship with your client, the best thing you can do is follow steps that will help you recover, recuperate and then re-build your relationship.
Failing is not desired, nor is destabilisation of your relationship, but it doesn’t have to kill you and can help you strengthen your mutual relationship.
The harder you fall, the higher you bounce. – Horton, Doug
1. Act Quickly
Problems don’t solve themselves, and after the mistake was made, fury with the customer can just increase with long response time. The quicker you solve the problem the better. Once the mistake is fixed, communication is becoming more clear as the burden of desperation was removed.
Quick acting on issue can sometimes impress customers on its own, and can help them gain a different perspective on you.
2. Take Responsibility
Don’t wait for others to jump in and solve issues. Taking responsibility is one of the most admirable characteristics of leaders. This means that you should admit your mistakes and face consequences no matter how big they are.
Responsibility is highly desired attribute and not many people have it. If you’re able to take it, it will benefit you, disregarding of consequences.
3. Make an Honest Apology
If you are going to apologise, do it honestly, and express your regret. Do not look for excuses, do not say it’s not you, and most importantly don’t expect anything in return.
Finish your apology with offer to compensate the loss. This will show that you understand the problem you caused.
4. Think of Compensation and Offer it
Don’t think of compensation solely in financial terms. This kind of compensation is for new clients which want to walk away from you. For steady clients – you have already built a relationship, this kind of compensation won’t help. They have already become involved in the relationship with you and they have already decided what they want. Giving back money won’t solve their problem, but actually solving it will help. Big time!
Post-problem bonding can be a big plus for you. If you are able to resolve the problem and fix the mistake to everyone’s satisfaction, you will be able to improve your relationship with the customer. The new bonding you’re making with your customer where you both know you can rely on each other can be a great opportunity to talk about increasing business volume. It can also be a great opportunity to ask for a recommendation through which you will win a few more friends as nothing is more important than satisfied customer.