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  • Writer's picturebdkjenner

Rocket Fuel -Mess Up, Fess Up, Dress Up

This Rocket Fuel is about turning lemons into lemonade when things go off the rails with your customer. A number of years ago, I remember listening to a speaker about a concept I have never forgot -Mess up, Fess up, Dress up.

We know that a reality of life and business is that we are all going to screw up from time to time- you screw up, I screw up, and so do our clients. The problem is that sometimes we hate to admit that we have made a mistake, especially to our valued customers. The truth is, we can actually build our credibility when the inevitable blotch occurs. Here's how:

Mess up -a mess up can occur from miscommunication, oversight, wrong assumptions, and on and on. Sometimes we know about the mistake, but our client doesn't -and vice versa. Sometimes the mistake is ours directly, sometimes it is someone else's fault, and sometimes it is shared. From the client's perspective it doesn't make any difference -there has been a mess up!

Fess up -My belief is that it is much better to 'fess up' as soon as possible. Even if the prospect or client doesn't know that a mistake has been made, many times they eventually find out. So, why not head off the problem before it becomes a catastrophe and 'fess up' quickly.

Also, take responsibility for the mistake, if at all possible. To point out the mistake and then point the finger of blame at everyone else but yourself, does nothing to build your credibility. For example, when you make a request to another individual or department within your company for services on behalf of your client, you are ultimately the one who is responsible. At the very least, you should share responsibility for the mistake with the people or department you have delegated it to -it demonstrates the type of person that you are!

Dress up- Don't just fix the problem or apologize for it, go out of your way to 'dress up' the situation for your client. Perhaps give them a 'freebie' or a discount, or even a small token of your appreciation for their inconvenience. These small things go a long way towards building great relationships and 'loyal' clients.

So, the next time the inevitable happens and a mistake is made, remember Mess up, Fess up, Dress up! and you'll be on your way to turning a bad situation into a credibility-boosting opportunity!

Onward and Upward!

Brian Kjenner

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