This has to be one of the most common conversations I have with my clients. Something goes wrong. A terrible review of a service or product, a client that didn’t pay, a project cancelled unexpectedly.
It can also look like a manufacturing mistake, a missed deadline, or someone dropping the ball.
Something that is uncomfortable and let’s be honest, hurt a bit.
The pattern generally goes like this, My client shares with me the pain, describes how ‘unfair’ it is. The mistakes their client made, how THEY didn’t understand what it was all about, How THEY misinterpreted something or how THEY are annoying and asking for something beyond the norm.
My answer is almost always the same.
WHAT IS THE GIFT?
When we hurt we wish to hear that we are right. That we didn’t do anything wrong and that it was them, how dare they not read our mind and know that things simply work in a particular way?
But what I find is that all those mishaps, those disconnections in the journey of experiencing your brand are brilliant thermometers for knowing where the fine tuning needs to happen.
So generally, after we shake the ego and the pain, we sit down and brainstorm the gift.
If someone didn't understand your return policy, maybe it’s time to re-write it again from a different perspective. Client’s are asking ‘silly questions’ about your product? Then let’s think creatively of new ways to explain it. Maybe a video or a how-to brochure could do a better job.
Years ago when Wallnut was still in full design branding mode, I accumulated a set of big mishaps within just a couple of months. They were painful, expensive and heartbreaking.
Luckily, back then I had a brilliant business coach who got me to implement boundaries and systems for each of the issues that I experienced and let me tell you, none of them ever happened again.
I had to add new bits to my contracts, I had to finesse my client onboarding process and I had to get better at saying no and spotting my ideal client. So in hindsight, all those painful mishaps were nothing but beautiful gifts helping me shape my business into one that runs more smoothly and MOST IMPORTANTLY, feels respectful of me, my vision and what I’m about.
So I ask you today, what are the gifts you are being given by your customers? And what are you doing to make them count? In your processes, your systems, your offerings?
Would love to hear if you have any stories like this!