Mistakes Happen!

posted: Friday, August 21, 2009

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For those of you who read last week's article, you may remember my experience with my internet provider and how unhappy I was with their failure to keep a promise. As I started to think about it, something else bothers me even more. We all make mistakes in whatever field we choose and a mistake was made by this company. In the end, there was even a bigger mistake that was made, and that was their unwillingness to make the situation right. There is no salesperson in the world that is going to be perfect day in and day out. If there is one, I sure would love to meet them.

As I discussed last week, the company did not deny that they made a mistake, but that's only the first step in rectifying the error. Acknowledging a mistake is certainly important, but it is hollow if it is not followed up with something that satisfies the customer. I believe most of our customers, if not all of them, are smart enough to understand that on occasion salespeople make mistakes. I also believe that the customer should expect the mistake to be taken care of in some way. Even after I asked my internet provider for something for my troubles and their mistake, all I got was another apology.

It would have been appropriate for them to offer me some sort of credit for the three days that I was without my phone and internet, but there was no offer of the kind. In this situation, it had nothing to do with the money that I would have been credited (which would not have been much at all) but rather the admission from the company that, "Yes we screwed up and here is something for your inconvenience."

There is nothing more important to a salesperson than their customers. Keeping them, especially the repeat customers, should always be at the forefront of your mind. I wasn't looking for a free month or anything big, but I was looking for some kind of sign that my patronage meant something to them, and it never came. As a professional salesperson, guess what? You are going to make mistakes, but don't compound them by not correcting them. Each and every customer is far more important than the minimal cost it would take to correct the mistake.

FINAO - Brad Huisken - IAS Training

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