Tuesday 18 August 2009

Dropping The Ball

We all do it in some way or another. We drop the ball. We make commitments we intend to keep but end up allowing that commitment to fall through the crack.

We forget to write it down, put it into our PDA Tasks list, place it on a sticky note around our monitor, initiate an SR, or whatever tracking method we use.

When this happens in business, there are those out there that claim that the business should deny and/or walk away from the situation. In some cases, we have seen where a company will actually employ a team of lawyers just for this purpose.

As small business owners, our reputation is really the only thing we own. How our company is valued as a product and service provider by our clients or former clients is very important.

If we have dropped the ball, and it is pointed out to us by our client, then we need to take responsibility for that.

“I apologize Mr. Client, I really messed up! How can I make it up to you and your company? How can we make this right?”

Those are the words that our client needs to hear. Then, when an arrangement has been made to make up for the mistake we need to follow through on it.

In the end, our business relationship with our client will be a lot stronger. Our client will grow to trust us to follow through on our commitments, but also trust that we will accept responsibility and make up for any mistakes we make.

If they choose to walk away, then we have learned a very valuable lesson. Indeed, one that may cost us our business.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*All Mac on SBS posts will not be written on a Mac until we replace our now missing iMac! (previous blog post)

Windows Live Writer


Anonymous said...

What ball did you drop?

Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...


A couple of things were missed when we came back from our break as I missed writing them up while speaking with our respective client contact.

We were fortunately able to pick them up with an apology and get them done with no serious consequences to our clients.