I’ve always liked my web host well enough. Hardly any technical problems, they’ve helped with some WordPress issues beyond their scope and have good uptime or whatever it’s called. They have staff right here in the U.S. via a toll number that is plain spoken, skips the technical jumbo and listens to your requests. If you have already tried steps 1-8 and no success, they will go off the script. Usually.
So the email isn’t working, happens.
A login to my hosts website revealed nothing, no warning or “we are working on it.” A (toll) call to the support line revealed nothing during the LONG hold time about a “known outage.” There wasn’t a system in place to deal with the problem, no follow ups afterwards.
When I called I was surprised by the customer disservice. For the first time, the technical unsupport person did not go off the script, instead making me wait and explain before finally admitting that there was a known issue effecting some customers.
No warnings, no updates, no ETA. Do not pass go, straight to fail.
Admitting mistakes is tricky, not just legally but from a service standpoint too. It will depend on the customer on what approach is best, but hiding your head in the sand or ignoring the problem won’t make it go away.
Example Good: If you’re Eidia Lush shoes and you mess up someone’s order, you respond to someone’s social complaint with a real apology. You turn a problem into an opportunity, winning a loyal customer, advocate, influencer (Mmm.. buzzwords, tasty) in the bargain.
Small Business Takeaway
Don’t fear mistakes. Work out a plan ahead to prevent them and when mistakes do happen, empower employees to improvise, adapt, overcome. You will screw up. There will be technical difficulties. It is what you do – or DON’T do – next that counts.
Examples, anecdotes, advice for handling mistakes? Do tell.
Photo credit: one of my fave DIY Despair posters I’ve seen on the Interwebs.