Friday, February 25, 2011

The Weatherman's Curse

Once again the storm wasn't what we expected. Depending on your source, we braced for 3, 4, 5 or even 6 inches of snow last night.

At best I shoveled an inch and a half off the drive before heading to work this morning

My boys were devastated. They had already put their brains into "snow day" mode. Right now they hate weathermen (as do all their teachers who have rooms full of snow day kids).

The poor weatherman has over-promised and under-delivered once again.

Fortunately for him, however, he gets to keep his job. We don't often get that second chance.

Mistakes Happen
If you have a retail store it happens. You will over-promise and under-deliver. Maybe it is a special order that didn't arrive in a timely fashion. Maybe it is a product that wasn't as advertised. Maybe it was a bad day for one of your employees and the great customer service you advertise wasn't there.

How do you handle those moments?

I think the best thing to do is say, "I'm sorry. We made a mistake."

No matter whose fault it is, no matter that you did everything right but your vendor failed you, your shipping company goofed, or your employee was totally misunderstood, it is still your mistake. So own it.

The customer doesn't care about all that other stuff, the excuses. She put her trust in you and you failed her. So say you're sorry, admit you made a mistake, then go about trying to fix it. That's all she wants.
  • An apology
  • An admission of guilt
  • A solution
Give her those three things and I promise you the sun will come up tomorrow. Heck, I'm certain of it. My weatherman told me it would.

-Phil

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