14 June 2010

Making Amends and Right Actions

In Roy Osing's 10 June post of his BE DIFFERENT or be dead Blog, he talks about the importance of apologies when working with customers.

I couldn't agree more.

If you are interested in a process for using a mistake as a growth opportunity, look at Harvard Business Review's Best Practices Blog post by Amy Gallo.

One of the many facts of being human is that we are fallible. If your organization is very lucky, it may go for several years in a customer relationship without having any missteps. However, for most of us, mistakes happen and apologies along with course corrections are in order.

What I didn't see in either blog post was that although customers appreciate and value transparency and apologies, you can't assume that they necessarily will forgive you - some will and some won't.

For those customers who are forgiving, recognize that you will work twice as hard and twice as long to regain their trust.

For those customers who are unforgiving, you still need to ensure that your course correction exceeds their expectations. Why? Because it's the right action to take. When you leave, you do so with dignity knowing that you did your best to do the right thing for your (soon to be ex) customer.

What have you done to regain a customer's trust? Or what did you do when your customer wouldn't forgive a mistake?