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No Mistakes – It Is Just A Goal

Mark Twain once said, “I feel bad for the man that can’t spell a word more than one way.”  I guess this was in response to someone finding a mistake in his writings. The other day I was working with a client. He had hired me to be the opening speaker at a sales conference. […]

Mark Twain once said, “I feel bad for the man that can’t spell a word more than one way.”  I guess this was in response to someone finding a mistake in his writings.

The other day I was working with a client. He had hired me to be the opening speaker at a sales conference. He showed me a letter that we had written him. It was only four sentences long, but it had three mistakes. Wow, was I embarrassed!

Here is the bottom line.

Because of the mistakes, he was uncomfortable about working with me. I am a professional speaker and author, which means that I am in the communications business. My words are my credibility. And we blew it. No excuse, we let a letter go out without being properly proofed. As a result, my client had concerns about how well I would perform in front of his group – and rightfully so.

Mistakes blow credibility. Some mistakes are tolerated more than others. Some mistakes are inexcusable. But everyone makes mistakes!

The key to overcoming the mistakes, whatever they may be, is regaining our customer’s confidence in us. Sometimes it just means accepting responsibility, saying you’re sorry and not making an excuse for the mistake. Sometimes it is fixing the mistake fast – with an attitude that shows you care and will do what it takes to make things right. Most of the time, this helps to restore credibility, especially if the problem or mistake doesn’t happen again.

One of the expectations that our customers (both internal and external) have of us is that we don’t make mistakes. “No mistakes” isn’t real, but it is a very good goal. And if there are mistakes, make sure you fix them and give the customer renewed confidence to continue working with you.

P.S. There may be mistakes throughout this article. We agree with what Mark Twain said. We also know that we usually catch mistakes about an hour after this is posted!

Shep Hyken is a customer service/CX expert, award-winning keynote speaker, and New York Times bestselling author. Learn more about Shep’s customer service and customer experience keynote speeches and his customer service training workshops at www.Hyken.com. Connect with Shep on LinkedIn.

(Copyright ©MMXII, Shep Hyken)

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