Errors will occur. Take advantage of them by creating opportunities. Although buyers and sellers take great care to specify products being ordered, manufactured and shipped, any seasoned professional in this industry will agree there’s considerable room for error. Even when colors, sizes and relevant components of a product are checked again and again, mistakes happen.
To Err is Human, to Learn from it is Divine
Most would agree that is human nature. With some diligence and collaboration with both your customer and supplier, however, these mistakes can be converted into opportunities. Granted, profit on the particular sale might be lost or even worse, the entire sale. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t use the restitution to show your client how honest and candid you can be. This kind of transparency builds confidence in you as a person, and it would not be wrong to anticipate more purchase orders from customers like this because the communication was open and good.
When distributors dealing with mistakes force customers to take full responsibility for errors and show no willingness to compromise or collaborate, it works against the relationship. The clients will soon go elsewhere for their logoed merchandise. That said, it is beneficial to view any challenges with an order as opportunities to deepen the relationships. Rather than viewing the loss as a reduction in income, view it as an investment in marketing. Clients may engage with other clients and projects are discussed and something as simple as, “So-and-so messed up an order, but he was really great dealing with it. Great guy. Give him a call!” Even a small gift in the way of a sample to say “Sorry” will go a long way in preserving the relationship and pave the way for increased sales. There is a caveat though. Mistakes on future productions should not occur. If they do, clients will sense not honesty and candor but incompetence. That’s a disaster for sales and a reputation as a business.
Are you Ready to Turn Errors into Opportunities?
The moral of the story is mistakes happen. Own them, apologize for them, learn from them, improve upon them and be darn sure to avoid making the same mistake in the future!