The solution is more important that you feeling bad

If one of your ideas doesn’t work out, that doesn’t make it a bad idea.

The issue might have been timing, user error, a tech glitch, or some other unforeseen event.

But whatever happened, treat this failure as part of the account learning process.

Now, if the mistake is yours, own it. As quickly as you can. It’s embarrassing, but you’re not going to get fired, and your clients will be more understanding of human error than you think there will. Because they make mistakes too. J

Just don’t over apologize. That can have an adverse affect, as it pulls your energy in the wrong direction. As my coworker once told me during our client services training session, the solution is more important than you feeling bad.

And so, if you find yourself in this kind of situation, here’s a framework that might be useful.

Here’s what happened, here’s why, and here’s what’s next.

In fact, telling an upset client upfront that you’re going to discuss those three things will put them at ease and project confidence. Even if you have no idea what the hell is going on, they just want to know that you have a plan.

The first part is, here’s what happened.

Think of it as your therapist hat. This is where you echo their frustration back to them, demonstrating your understanding of exactly the issue, and how they have a right to feel how they feel about it.

The second part is, here’s why.

Think of it as your detective hat. This is where you pinpoint the root cause of the failure, or if you’re not sure, suggest multiple potential causes that you’re looking into.

Finally, here’s what next.

This is where you put on your manager hat. Let people know what the action items are moving forward on both sides of the relationship. If possible, give your client options so they feel more empowered and in control. Here’s the framework once more.

Here’s what happened, here’s why, and here’s what’s next.

Doesn’t that sound more uplifting and solution oriented than beating yourself up for making a mistake?

Remember, in customer or client service, the speed of the response is the response. Be fast, be clear, be organized, be human, and frankly, be thankful that you’ve been given the opportunity show your client how much you care.

The service recovery paradox states customers will think more highly of a company after the company has corrected a problem with their service, compared to how they would regard them if non faulty service had been provided.

Maybe this failure is your opportunity to blow somebody away.

Remember, no business wants failure to happen, but once it happens, and it will happen, accepting it with grace, gratitude and generosity will frame the interaction in a way that clients will never forget.

What solution is more important than you feeling bad about creating the problem?


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