We Are All Human

Well, ok….the cat walking on your keyboard isn’t human, but the title says it just right.  We are all human, and we can make mistakes.  But what you do in handling those mistakes can make or break your business.  First of all, if it’s just a typo on your web site, it’s simple to fix.  Those happen and usually don’t affect your business much.  It depends on how many typos you have in your content.  You want things to be professional so that your potential customers will take you seriously and keep returning to your site to buy your products or services.

The problem is when you make mistakes in processing customer orders, in shipping the correct products, and in meeting or exceeding customer expectations.  People are fickle creatures.  Some want more than you can give, while others just want what you promised to give them.  (Keep that last statement in mind.  It’s an important point here.)  When you make a mistake on a customer order, admit it.  The customer is going to remind you, anyway.  So do the right thing.  Apologize and try to correct the situation – as quickly as possible.

Your customers want instant gratification.  They don’t want to wait weeks to get problems resolved.  But you should keep in mind that you cannot please everyone all of the time.  (Remember that statement above?)  Some will ask for more than you can give and get unreasonable.  That’s all right.  It happens.  But your courtesy in the situation can be just the damage control your business needs in order to avoid any bad publicity.  In admitting that you made a mistake, and being as reasonable as possible in giving a remedy to the situation, even the most unreasonable customer will have to admit that you have done everything possible to make them happy except for giving your product away.  And at times, that may even be a solution if your business can afford to take that little hiccup in sales.

It’s always interesting to hear about someone’s business “bloopers” and how they solved the situation.  Feel free to share your story here – sometimes we can learn from the mistakes of others and the solutions they found.