So, What if You Make a Mistake?
Ok let’s face it everyone can make a mistake, when was the last time you made a mistake…come on be honest.
Its not the mistake that counts, it’s what you do about it that defines your brand. Never hide from your mistakes, they will catch up with you, believe me.
Two things happen when we screw up (yes that’s a technical term): we hide or we don’t admit it, I will leave it to you to decide which is worse.
It’s impossible for us to get it right all the time, anyhow where would be the fun in that?
Some of the things we might have failed at as businesses are:
New service or product launches, sometimes we think its a great idea and it fails spectacularly
Addressing client complaints
Addressing staff complaints
Saying ‘sorry’ when something goes wrong
The list is endless and we all know where we’ve failed without me spelling it out.
The main thing is what to do when it happens. Listen every brand makes mistakes and the ones that don’t aren’t trying anything new, they are stuck in the same old ‘rut’ churning out the same old predictable stuff, or crap, depending on your standpoint.
The most important thing in all of this is that “YOU DON’T LET THE FEAR OF FAILURE STOP YOU”, I’ve put that in capitals because I don’t want you to forget it.
We all know that mistakes these day’s are seen by everyone, everywhere in an instant, this is what stops brands trying new things, it’s this fear of failure on a global scale, a scale we have never known before and are still coming to terms with.
The news has been littered with examples of them over the past few years, BP oil spill, Concordia sinking and Tiger Woods, god help him.
But its not the mistake that’s important its what you do about it that really matters.
People are watching to see what you do about it. You see if you hide away and try to pretend it’s not happened the sting in the tail is even worse. It’s always better to come out apologize and then let everyone know what you are doing to put it right and to make sure it never happens again. We are all human…right?
Today any complaints about a brand are ‘aired’ on social media platforms before they can say sorry. So when something happens make a positive statement of intent as soon as you possibly can. Leaving it two or three days while you think it over is too late, the decision and perception of your brand has been made by hundreds, thousands maybe even millions of people before you’ve decided how to handle it or had a chance to fix it.
Twitter is the perfect example, lets say a customer walks into a sandwich shop orders a sandwich and finds a bug in it? As a paying customer they have the right to complain, as the shop owner you have two choices. You can admit the mistake say sorry and give the customer the choice of their money back or an alternative sandwich and promise it was a one off and won’t happen again. Or you can deny the bug came from the shop because there are no bugs in the shop so you must have brought it in with you to get a free sandwich, yeah right!
Now as sensible people we know its the first choice everytime because as a business owner this is almost a subconscious decision to give them the choice of their money back or an alternative sandwich. Why is it then that we see so many complaints on Twitter and other social media platforms, that go unanswered? I am not talking about the silly ones but the ones with a legitimate case of complaint.
Used in the correct way social media platforms can be used as a great customer service tool and especially when things go wrong.
I can guarantee that if you listen to your tribe the number of mistakes will come down and even when you make one it won’t be the end of the world for you and your brand because they know that you will work your hardest to ‘put it right’.
Brands that innovate do so because they aren’t afraid to make mistakes they “focus on solutions not problems”, where have you heard that one before? But it’s true the ones who succeed have made lots of mistakes so there’s no reason why you can’t. Just don’t hide from them when you do and have a solution ready just in case and your tribe will love you for it.
And remember “YOU DON’T LET THE FEAR OF FAILURE STOP YOU”.
I would love to know any mistakes you have made and how you found a solution?
Keith is the lead trainer for The Social Marketing Academy and has been involved with the web since the early nineties.
The Social Marketing Academy is founded on the entrepreneurial philosophy: ‘Provide the best training available’. That’s why at The Social Marketing Academy we listen to our customers to gauge their needs, constantly testing and launching new innovative training with ...
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