Whoops … Holding on to a Client After You’ve Made a Mistake


Hang on to your clients! That’s a fundamental rule in business. You invest a great deal of time and money attracting clients and keeping them, but what do you do when something goes wrong? Every business is run by human beings – who occasionally make mistakes. You might deliver the wrong items at the wrong time or color a client’s hair purple when she wanted to go blond.

Fred Reicheld, a well-known management consultant specializing in customer loyalty, has found that every five years, American corporations lose about 50% of their customers. Is it the “whoops!” factor? How can you avoid becoming part of this statistic? First and foremost, admit your mistakes and resolve them to your client’s satisfaction; this develops an atmosphere of trust that will keep your customers coming back.

Keep in Touch

Keep your finger on the pulse of your operation so you know whether or not your clients are happy. Every customer complaint, reduced or canceled order or any other indication of trouble (like the classic expression of dissatisfaction, leaving a penny tip in a restaurant) should be treated as a “red alert.”

Not every client who’s received less than optimal results from your company will speak to you about it directly. For example, when Susan, owner of a small real estate agency, posted a routine advertisement for her business on a community e-bulletin board, she reports: “I was shocked to receive an anonymous comment from a disgruntled former customer, who warned people away.” Fortunately Susan was able to contact him via email. It turned out that Client X had called her agency in the past, wanting information about selling a property. Somehow he was lost in the shuffle and no one ever got back to him. Susan assured him of her personal attention and made sure she revamped her customer intake system.

Invite Feedback

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” That’s from Bill Gates, who knows a thing or two about running a successful business. Get feedback however possible. Depending on the size and nature of your operation, you can speak with clients personally on a regular basis, post a suggestion box on the wall or send out customer surveys.

Acknowledge When You’re Wrong

When you or your employees make a mistake, it’s important to acknowledge it right away. Encourage your staff to be open with you when they go wrong, so you’ll be prepared to deal with the results as quickly as possible.

Never try to get yourself off the hook by blaming the situation on one of your colleagues or subordinates. And never, ever argue with an angry customer. Listen attentively, apologize gracefully, then shift the focus from the problem to the solution and giving the client what s/he needs rather than assigning blame. Take advantage of the opportunity to show how diplomatically and efficiently you handle a crisis.

When to Dwell on your Mistakes

Once you have found a satisfactory solution for the immediate predicament, take the time to analyze what went wrong and figure out how to prevent it recurring. You may need to go so far as to change your official procedures or training manuals. Then let your clients know exactly what you have done to improve service for them in the future. After all, they are your business’s most important asset.

Add a Blog


  1. My coder is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP.
    I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses.
    But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using WordPress on a variety of websites for about a year and am anxious about switching to another platform.
    I have heard fantastic things about blogengine.net. Is there a way I can transfer all
    my wordpress content into it? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  2. I believe this is among the most vital info for me.
    And i’m happy reading your article. But should commentary on few
    basic things, The site taste is perfect, the articles is in reality great :
    D. Just right activity, cheers

  3. Thanks for your useful post. In recent times, I have come to understand that the actual symptoms of mesothelioma cancer are caused by the particular build up connected fluid between your lining of the lung and the upper body cavity. The condition may start in the chest region and multiply to other limbs. Other symptoms of pleural mesothelioma cancer include fat loss, severe inhaling and exhaling trouble, temperature, difficulty ingesting, and infection of the neck and face areas. It ought to be noted that some people with the disease usually do not experience just about any serious indicators at all.

  4. Furthermore, i believe that mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that is commonly found in those previously subjected to asbestos. Cancerous tissue form from the mesothelium, which is a defensive lining which covers the majority of the body’s body organs. These cells normally form from the lining on the lungs, abdominal area, or the sac that really encircles the heart. Thanks for expressing your ideas.

  5. I’ve learned new things through your blog post. Yet another thing to I have seen is that typically, FSBO sellers may reject a person. Remember, they will prefer not to use your providers. But if anyone maintain a gentle, professional romance, offering assistance and keeping contact for about four to five weeks, you will usually be capable of win a conversation. From there, a house listing follows. Many thanks

  6. Something more important is that when you are evaluating a good on-line electronics shop, look for online shops that are regularly updated, always keeping up-to-date with the most current products, the top deals, and helpful information on products and services. This will ensure that you are handling a shop that really stays atop the competition and provide you what you should need to make educated, well-informed electronics purchases. Thanks for the critical tips I have learned through your blog.

  7. After research a couple of of the blog posts on your web site now, and I actually like your way of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark web site record and can be checking back soon. Pls take a look at my web page as effectively and let me know what you think.

  8. I have learned new things from a blog post. Yet another thing to I have recognized is that usually, FSBO sellers will reject you. Remember, they will prefer not to use your services. But if an individual maintain a reliable, professional partnership, offering support and being in contact for around four to five weeks, you will usually have the ability to win a meeting. From there, a house listing follows. Thanks

  9. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be really something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  10. Do you have a spam problem on this site; I also am a blogger, and I was wanting to know your situation; many of us have developed some nice practices and we are looking to exchange methods with other folks, please shoot me an email if interested.

  11. I have observed that online education is getting popular because accomplishing your degree online has developed into popular solution for many people. Numerous people have not necessarily had a chance to attend a normal college or university nevertheless seek the raised earning possibilities and career advancement that a Bachelor Degree affords. Still other people might have a college degree in one training but would choose to pursue another thing they already have an interest in.

  12. I haven’t checked in here for a while because I thought it was getting boring, but the last handful of posts are really great quality so I guess I will add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend. :)

  13. Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same outcome.

  14. 810985 544032this is really fascinating. thanks for that. we require much more sites like this. i commend you on your fantastic content and exceptional subject choices. 294122

  15. I do like the way you have framed this challenge plus it does indeed supply us a lot of fodder for thought. However, through everything that I have experienced, I really trust as the actual comments pack on that people today remain on point and don’t start upon a tirade associated with some other news of the day. Still, thank you for this superb piece and whilst I do not necessarily go along with the idea in totality, I respect the point of view.

  16. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own weblog and was curious what all is needed to get set up? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very internet savvy so I’m not 100 certain. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. Kudos

  17. Thanks for your article. It is unfortunate that over the last ten years, the travel industry has already been able to to take on terrorism, SARS, tsunamis, bird flu virus, swine flu, as well as the first ever entire global downturn. Through it the industry has proven to be strong, resilient plus dynamic, locating new strategies to deal with difficulty. There are always fresh troubles and the opportunity to which the sector must all over again adapt and answer.

  18. I have observed that service fees for internet degree professionals tend to be an incredible value. For example a full College Degree in Communication from The University of Phoenix Online consists of 60 credits at $515/credit or $30,900. Also American Intercontinental University Online provides a Bachelors of Business Administration with a full study course element of 180 units and a tariff of $30,560. Online degree learning has made having your college diploma been so cool because you can earn your own degree from the comfort in your home and when you finish from work. Thanks for all tips I have certainly learned from your website.

  19. Very nice info and straight to the point. I don’t know if this is actually the best place to ask but do you guys have any thoughts on where to employ some professional writers? Thank you :)

  20. Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything like this before. So good to find somebody with some authentic ideas on this subject. realy thanks for starting this up. this web site is something that’s wanted on the internet, somebody with a little originality. helpful job for bringing something new to the web!

  21. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz reply as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. appreciate it

  22. Hello very cool site!! Guy .. Excellent .. Superb .. I’ll bookmark your web site and take the feeds also…I’m satisfied to find numerous helpful info right here within the publish, we need work out extra techniques in this regard, thank you for sharing. . . . . .

  23. 391657 969414I actually got into this article. I discovered it to be intriguing and loaded with exclusive points of interest. I like to read material that makes me think. Thank you for writing this fantastic content. 363763

  24. Greetings from California! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to check out your blog on my iphone during lunch break. I love the info you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m shocked at how quick your blog loaded on my phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, superb blog!

  25. Generally I do not learn post on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very forced me to check out and do so! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thanks, very great post.

  26. Appreciate you for sharing these kind of wonderful articles. In addition, the best travel in addition to medical insurance system can often eradicate those concerns that come with vacationing abroad. A new medical emergency can rapidly become expensive and that’s absolute to quickly place a financial weight on the family finances. Having in place the ideal travel insurance package prior to setting off is well worth the time and effort. Thank you

  27. Thanks for the strategies you share through this web site. In addition, a lot of young women which become pregnant will not even seek to get medical health insurance because they fear they might not qualify. Although a lot of states today require that insurers supply coverage irrespective of the pre-existing conditions. Premiums on these kinds of guaranteed programs are usually higher, but when considering the high cost of medical care it may be the safer way to go to protect one’s financial future.

  28. I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your site. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a developer to create your theme? Superb work!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here