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Making mistakes and moving on.(6 Posts)
I'm in the early process of starting up my own business.
It's been a steep learning curve so far but I recently made a mistake on an order (it was more a technology failure) and I feel absolutely dreadful about it.
I've offered the customer three different ways to rectify the problem but each one will cause a delay in completing the order. The customer has been pretty good about it but I still can't shake this feeling that maybe I'm not good enough to be doing this?
How do you manage to put your mistakes behind you and carry on? This has really dented my confidence .
Think of the business moguls - Branson and Buffet etc. they all say that success in business is entirely down to how you cope when you fail and make mistakes. Mistakes happen. They are an inevitable part of human life. But how you deal with them is a huge reflection on the ethos of your business. So far, sounds like you are showing the customer how much you value them by offering three options. I'd be impressed.
It's worth analysing how the mistake was made. Were you tired? did you not log an order correctly (eg take it verbally by phone and then forget a key element?) Can you alter the procedures you have to make them more foolproof? So, can you learn from the mistake and actually improve your overall business because of it?
Don't beat yourself up. I run my own business and recently messed up some work for one of my oldest clients who I've worked with for twenty years. She wasn't impressed. But she knows that in the long run I always aim high and give a professional service. I just had to admit to the mess up but there was no value in getting emotionally knotted up by it.
A customer once told me that he didn't judge people by the mistakes they made but by how they resolved them!!
If everything always goes perfectly then how can you prove how awesome you are when you need to be?
I have never forgotten that
Thank you both for helping me to put it into perspective. I think I've managed to sort it now so will be delivering the order tomorrow.
Basically, it was a printer issue. My printer couldn't cope with what I needed to do so I'm going to have to look at getting a new one that can do the things I need it to.
Although this customer has been pretty understanding, they are really really particular and I've found this order really stressful since I know they will be scrutinising it in fine detail. There have been lots of messages back and forth with this person querying every minor detail over and over. I won't know whether they're happy until they've received it but I'm so so nervous that they won't be happy as there are future orders in line if I've got it right. I feel terrible that I've let them down as I said I could do this thing with the printer and it turned out I couldn't although I did offer alternatives to resolve it.
Fingers crossed they are happy with my work.
Sometimes you do need to weigh up the stress involved with the results you see for yourself and your business. it feels to me like you got yourself tied in knots over the client and this may have contributed to the mistake or the delivery issues. They may have forced you to agree to things you were not sure you could have delivered.
if this client takes up so much of your time and is difficult, they may not be financially viable for you. is the stress worth it?
I have let clients go because I dreaded their phone calls - nothing i did was right and it simply wasn't worth the way it made me feel.
Thank you what, I definitely agree with you - I got overly stressed because I thought I needed to get things perfect.
It turns out the client was really happy with my work and has already referred me to someone else who has also ordered from me . So it looks like my cock up was taken well and they were overall pleased.
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