“It’s the putting right that counts” - an earworm from my childhood popped into my head.
Elizabeth was dissecting the client meeting that lay behind a savage online review.
“Yes, I was running late, but what could I do? My previous client had launched into a bitter diatribe about their business partner.”
“Yes, I could have given them a more thorough breakdown of their accounts, but the answers were there in the P&L.”
“And yes, I did want to finish on time. To get home and have dinner with my daughter. Work is relentless at this time of year, and I keep having to postpone.”
“Besides, they’re still going to make $7500 in tax saved. That’s pretty good.”
We talked further and Elizabeth took the imaginative leap from defensiveness to the other side of the table. The client experience and what she would have felt in their shoes. The review was hard but reasoned.
- Own the mistake and your role – take responsibility. Do not be PwC.
- Be clear in your own mind and heart about what is reasonable.
- Devise a putting right.
- Call the client.
- At that point you have made the move, how they respond is a reflection on them.
Elizabeth’s client was delighted that she contacted them. They resolved the issue, and the review has been withdrawn.
It’s the putting right was a jingle from a radio and tv ad for a local electrical retailer in Wellington New Zealand in the late 80’s and 90’s.
Where others banged on about their whiz bang wow of their appliances LV Martin lead with a single-minded service message, relentlessly.
It worked. They dominated their category in sales.
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