BUSINESSES ALSO MAKE MISTAKES
During our lives we make thousands of mistakes. These mistakes can happen at work, with our family and friends and even with ourselves. Mistakes can be intentional or done in bad faith but, they can also be mistakes due to lack of knowledge or experience, bad judgment or because they go beyond our control, what I call an “unforeseen error”.
Here I describe the difference between the two mistakes:
An intentional mistake is when you seek to take advantage of a situation; this may be quoting at a higher price, giving wrong information even though you know it is not tue or doing something hurtful. In a nutshell, an intentional mistake main intention is to hurt or deceit.
A mistake or “unforeseen error” is when we think or assume that the information, knowledge or experience we have is accurate or correct, but it turns out that it’s not. When we believe we have the answer and we are proven wrong. It may be a mistake that is beyond our control or reach.
The most important thing, and what’s always said, is that we must learn from these mistakes, so we don’t repeat them again. In fact, every time we learn from a mistake we grow as a person. We learn by apologizing, accepting our mistakes and having the intention not to do them again.
When you keep making mistakes over and over, this affects how the people around you percieve you. Why? Becuase the idea behind a mistake is to learn from it and not repeat it, but when this becomes an on-going issue an apology has no longer effect and the mistake can be seen as intentional or worst, as a stupid or carless person.
BUSINESSESS ALSO MAKE MISTAKES
Businesses also make mistakes, and these can also be intentional or unforeseen errors. The difference is that businesses are not judged in the same way.
Amongst people we tend to be more tolerant of mistakes; however, we have zero tolerance when it comes to businesses. Why? For starters, we don’t see the business as a person, but rather we see it as a thing, an entity. When we pay for something that the business is selling we expect to get our money’s worth; quality throug and throug. Quality in the service, during and after the purchase. We trust that the business has the best intentions, that it offers good quality and that it has experience selling its product.
Unfortunately mistakes will always happen; there is no business or person mistake free. The important consideration for businesses is to understand how to approach and solve the problem.
THE RIGHT SOLUTION
Providing the right solution and more important, the expected response by the customer is extremely important. That’s right, we as clients expect a certain action or response from the business when it comes to apologizing. A simple “sorry” or “we are sincerely sorry” isn’t enough. This type of apology has no value, it isn’t sincere and don’t show remorse. When a business apologizes in this way the only thing they are doing is making the situation worse.
This is where things fall apart; the business permanently loses the customer. Customers do not forget what had had happened, and their feeling of having been mistreated and ignored will linger. I would even argue that a refund isn’t enough, and sometimes it’s not even necessary to change how the customer perceives the business.
Businesses must learn to say sorry when a mistake is done. The apology must feel sincere and go beyond a “sorry, here’s your money back”. The apology shouldn’t be reactive, this means that it shouldn’t happen at the same time as the mistake. It’s better to wait a few days to apologize by sending a handwritten letter, a box of chocolates or something in good faith that is unique after a few days that shows a sincere apology and that the bsuiness cares about the relationship with the customers. Not only will you not lose your client but you will make them loyal.