“The only way you are going to have success is to have lots of failures first.”
— Sergey Brin, co-founder, Google
Mistake your way to success
Are you sick and tired of berating your team for making mistakes?
And does it seem like there is sometimes a dull and boring atmosphere at work?
The thing is, if you are not making mistakes you may not be trying hard enough.
Now of course there are different mistakes - some come from creativity, from trying new things, and others come from complacency. But regardless, mistakes can be an opportunity to impress others, to go the extra mile and to create loyal raving fans.
You can gain greater loyalty from your customers after making a mistake by fixing it, than by never making a mistake in the first place! True!
In my café I made a big mistake one day with a customer. I had a complaint about the quality of some bread we were using, being told it was old and stale, when in actual fact it was fresh that day. I held firm and told the woman she was wrong. She ended up leaving very unhappy. I felt terrible because I had been disrespectful and had lost a customer. To my utter surprise she came back with her daughter the next day, and ordered coffees. I walked up to her table and apologised to her, told her we wouldn’t use that bread again (she did have a point – it wasn’t the best bread), and offered her a free meal and coffee on her next visit. She went from an occasional customer to a daily visitor to the café.
So, here are 3 ways you can go the extra mile to fix mistakes;
- Humble yourself and sincerely apologise for the mistakes made.
- Offer something free for their next You want to encourage them to come back and give you another chance
- If appropriate, fix a process to ensure it doesn’t happen again and let the person know you have taken this remedial step. This shows that you value their input.
So don’t be afraid of mistakes. It’s not the mistakes you make that will determine the outcome, it is how you handle them.
See you next time.