WHEN “SORRY” JUST ISN’T ENOUGH
Screw ups. The worst feeling for a business owner. When something goes wrong and the customer (client, sponsor or whoever) is unhappy. The unsettling feeling of a person upset with your business, someone who may never buy from you again or worse – tell others not to buy from you.
Most of us know, logically and through training, what we’re supposed to do when we are the cause of a mistake:
1. Own it: accept responsibility and recognize the incident.
2. Act on it: if you can fix it, do so. Fast. If you can’t fix it, start thinking about what you can do to ease the pain and make it up to them.
3. Follow up: When possible, follow up with a final note, call or conversation.
Now here’s the hard part…
4. Move on.
The 4th bullet becomes substantially easier however, when the receiver of your screw up accepts the work you’ve done to make it up to them and is also ready to (happily) move on.
The harder part is when they’re still not over it.
The sad reality is that sometimes, sorry might not be enough.
So what’s left to do at this point?
- Let it go yourself: If you genuinely believe you’ve done all you can to rectify the situation, it will do no good to harp on it. As my husband always says “control the controllable”, and one thing you cannot control are the actions and reactions of others.
- Learn from it. Put new processes in place or provide extra staff training. Do what you can to make sure it doesn’t happen again. While being sorry is important, what’s more important is changing how you act so it doesn’t happen again.
When you own a business, it’s all personal, including the mistakes.