The Biggest Lesson Justin Bieber Can Teach Us in Business
Yes, I just wrote that. While I’m not a huge Justin Bieber fan (OK, who am I kidding, I am), there is one big lesson we can all take away from one of his hit songs.
Is it too late now to say sorry?
I don’t think it’s ever too late to tell someone you are sorry, especially your clients. I think it’s completely OK and often the right thing to do. This is not something we do enough of in our society. Why is that? What’s the harm in admitting fault and just saying that you are sorry?
Let me tell you a story and why I’m writing about this topic. I received a seething email from one of my very best and favourite clients about my customer service experience and the tone of an email that went to him from another of my team members. He was deeply upset – and I obviously had no idea what he was talking about, that is, until I looked at the email.
He was right. There was a “tone” to it that wasn’t nice, professional or authentically me. I felt his anger and I was deeply upset. Indirectly this was my fault because I hadn’t briefed the team member well enough on how I want to deal with my clients. The only thing to do was apologise … profusely. Thankfully, he was understanding.
It was a huge lesson for me. Actually, there were three big lessons I took away from this experience. Here they are; tell me if you can relate.
1. Your team is a reflection of you and your business
It’s really important to brief your team well on how you want things done, even communicating with your customers. This has become a process now and I have examples of emails I show my new team members so they get a feel for how I want things expressed. Sending a rude email is not what I’m about. They need to be educated, and this is why systems and processes are an integral part of a business structure. This is included in my manual now.
2. It’s OK to say sorry – and mean it
I think one of the best things you can do is be human. It’s a very powerful and admirable quality. We all make mistakes, and I’m not a superhuman, even though sometimes I wish I was. Saying sorry can quickly bring a conflict to an end (or at least reduce the severity of it) and put your clients at ease.
3. Make a promise to yourself
Now it’s time to make sure it doesn’t happen again so make the changes so you can move forward with confidence. In my situation, I emailed the client and then called them to apologise and explain. I also emailed and called the team member. I then wrote some example emails to use in my own words and tone and sent those to the team member. We also put those into my manual. I now speak with each new person who works in my business with how I do things and what I expect, especially when communicating with my clients. Communication and having meaningful conservations are two of my highest values and so, of course, are extremely important to me.
How would you have dealt with this situation? Do you believe in saying sorry? I’d love to hear your thoughts so shoot me comment below.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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