One of those moments

You ever have one of those moments where you have to live out what you believe and it sucks?

First go read this short post.

The basic gist of the post above is when someone expresses unhappiness with your service, the only real thing to do is say “you’re right” and set about fixing the problem.

The reality is, it’s a process to get to that point. Yesterday I read that post and agreed with every word of it. I thought of all the times I’d complained to businesses only to have them argue that I was wrong and they were right. Is the customer really right anymore?

So, having agreed with Godin, I proceeded with my day. Then I get an e-mail late last night from a client. One of the parts of the e-mail expressed concern that I hadn’t met the deadlines I had set in the past few weeks.

So what’s the first thought when you get an e-mail like that? Is it “you’re right?” No. The first thing that went through my head was all the things that happened throughout those weeks. All the things that took precedent over them. All the things that they didn’t even know about.

And then I remembered, “you’re right.” And they were. After working through all the reasons they were wrong and I was right, I realized it was the other way around. I should have hit those deadlines and didn’t. There are no excuses.

So I started the e-mail back to them, “you’re right,” and proceeded to apologize and make sure they were happy. And I feel good about it. Far better than if I’d sent an e-mail with all the reasons I was late.

And I really appreciated the e-mail too. I’d prefer to know if someone wasn’t 100% satisfied with my service than just assuming they were.

So is your first inclination to write a “you’re right” e-mail when someone honestly calls you on something?

Comments

  1. says

    It’s a tough thing you did. It’s hard for me to do too. Maybe a general flaw in guys or everyone? We’re not programmed to lose or be wrong. Some of the most innovative minds and companies celebrate their failures. Owning up to something is so refreshing! I’ve been trying to say ‘no’ more to help loosen my overcrowded schedule. I’ve also specifically tried to track tasks to get a realistic idea of how long something takes, then tack on extra time when giving estimates. Even with these considerations, life happens. If I can tell something’s not gonna happen when I said it would, I go out of my way to keep the client or boss informed as to the progress and an updated estimated delivery time. I have learned to under-promise and over-deliver. Also, I am over-the-top proactive. I know this sounds like a gushy John Maxwell book, but I can relate to your circumstances and applaud you for doing what you did. That’s what keeps clients and builds a good reputation.

  2. says

    You just proved your character! Most men would never admit they were wrong about any thing, and most “business men” (of today) do not take the time to care if they are right or wrong- seems most believe that their customers’ happiness or needs are not a priority- making that all might dollar is. SO Mr. Wright – you are “right” sticking to your beliefs and standards is always the right thing to do even when it sucks for you!!
    I am sorry to hear times have been rough for you lately, but the day with the worst trials ever is still a blessed one that the Lord has made for us… and usually character building! And remember- if we never make any mistakes…. usually means we are NOT doing any thing- and you know how hard you work! Deadlines are just goals- not all goals can be met at our speed and your priorities with your faith and your family can make some deadlines not seem quite so important! You are NOT wrong to keep that standard in your life!
    Personally- thanks for being you!!!! ~rr~

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