When I was just starting my career I did event management for various companies and organizations. The night before an event I would be so nervous I wouldn’t sleep. I was worried that something would go wrong – and it directly effected my ability to enjoy the work.
As I grew older I realized that it was an event and that something unexpected always happens at events – something completely out of your control.
But what I also realized (that changed my entire perspective on how I worked) was that the client wasn’t paying me to make the event perfect. They were paying me for my experience – so that when the unexpected did happen – I would fix it without affecting the event or the participant experience.
As the years have passed, and social media has made corporate activities transparent, this lesson has become even more valuable.
People understand that mistakes can happen – or that problems can occur. Companies that own those mistakes, and that do something about them (before they grow), can actually earn stronger loyalty from the customers affected.
A retail client of mine once had a service problem with one of its local franchise outlets. Rather than calling the head office, the customer went online to complain (rant) and to advise his followers never to use this retailer. Our social media rep saw the complaint, and responded in minutes, explaining that this service was not up to the standards of the retailer, that the issue would be fixed within the hour and that the retailer apologized for the inconvenience.
Fourty-five minutes later the customer was back online – explaining that they had received the fix, that they were astounded by the level of care/concern shown by the retailer, and that they were now a “customer for life”.
Treated properly – problems can become opportunities for your company to build extreme brand loyalty.