Problems don’t have to be bad news

The natural reaction to a problem is to wish it hadn’t happened and to feel frustration, especially when you are the one that has caused it!

There is a potential upside to causing a problem if the aftermath is handled in the right way as this can help you get even closer to your customer and it can help you move the business forward together. Admittedly it can be difficult at the moment you realise that you’ve made a mistake to think positively but if you can swiftly move towards acknowledging your own responsibility for the problem, apologising to your customers and then seeking to make amends then you could on the right track to make significant changes to how you do business.

If for example you are not a naturally good planner and you tend to deliver your product or service ‘just in time’ but you make a mistake and miss an important deadline what can you do? Following the suggested route above you quickly accept your personal and business responsibility, apologise immediately to the customer, look for ways to help them now and review your systems to identify how this mistake can never be repeated again. This approach won’t guarantee that your customer won’t walk away from your business but it may give you a second chance which most reasonable customers would consider. Most importantly for the long term health of your business if you manage to change your planning and delivery systems to be more effective then you will have a more viable and secure business with customers who have confidence and trust in your service. When you can take the learning from problems everyone’s a winner!

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