If you’ve made a mistake with a client, what matters most is how you’ll move forward and save your client relationship and your business reputation.
Admitting to a Client Mistake
Never delay admitting there’s an issue or your role in it. The longer you wait to address mistakes, the more time your client has to create their own narrative of what happened and what will happen in the future. Also, complete silence will likely make clients assume you don’t really care, and your client relationship can suffer. The more time that passes without hearing from you, your clients are prone to get angrier, more frustrated, and possibly more litigious. Obviously, you shouldn’t take responsibility for something you didn’t do, but never attempt to deflect blame if it was your responsibility. Fostering your client relationship lends itself to good communication, and taking blame where it’s due can improve your standing with the client.
A Proper Apology
Clients will expect an authentic, sincere apology. When apologizing, avoid using the word “if ”; as in, “I’m sorry IF you felt disrespected”. That is belittling the individual for how they are feeling or for how they interpreted your actions, and will only serve to damage the client relationship.
Also, don’t assume if you say you’re sorry, it means you’re liable, as this prevents many professionals from apologizing. Sometimes people just want to hear “I’m sorry” as a way of acknowledging their inconvenience, not necessarily to place blame. It’s respectful to apologize to someone who is in a difficult situation. Consider saying, “I’m sorry this happened.” Or “I’m so sorry that this is the situation.” Acknowledging their inconvenience and distress is important. Depending on the situation’s severity, you can write an apology letter, call them on the phone, meet with them in person, or a combination of these.
Find a Solution
Tell your client how you’re going to make things right. This is obviously more complex, as details depend on the specific situation, but develop a meaningful solution that will show your client you’re taking this seriously.
Ideally, you would already have a solution to offer when you acknowledge the problem and apologize, and communicate it all together. But that’s not always possible. Tell your client that you’re working on a solution and provide a reasonably soon deadline when you’ll touch base with more information on next steps.
Ensure you do get back to them by that deadline. Even if you still don’t have everything quite figured out yet (which there should be a good reason for), at least report your progress so they know you’re on top of things.
After you’ve agreed on a solution, complete it as soon as possible then follow up with your client to confirm their satisfaction and reaffirm that you value the relationship.
Learn From it
Mistakes are inevitable, which is why business insurance is a critical protection. However, once you’ve executed the solution, don’t just wipe your brow and move on. You must review why it happened and determine how you will prevent this particular problem from occurring again.
Whether that be changes to processes, personnel, technology, external partners, or a combination of factors, take a look at the bigger picture to pinpoint where you went wrong. It may even be beneficial to share these plans with your client to reinforce your commitment to providing excellent service, and the seriousness of your apology.
About Transparity Insurance Services
Transparity Insurance Services was founded for the purpose of helping clients to ensure their property and assets with no hassle. We are committed to providing a simple, easy, efficient, and positive experience to all of our clients, and prioritize open and transparent communication with our clients. Through our excellent customer service and technology, we can help you to find the right insurance program at a competitive price. Contact us today at (855) 889-2037 to learn more about what we can do for you.