Tuesday, February 19, 2013

How to Give Bad News to Clients

Free coffee cake = Bad news forgiven
Have you ever been let down by a vendor? 

Of course you have.

Vendor screw-ups are like death and the Detroit Lions missing the playoffs -- they're gonna happen.

Last Sunday, my wife and I were let down by a vendor. But they recovered so well that we gave them extra money.

Here's the story ...

We sat down for brunch at The Grand Cafe in Minneapolis and waited for our order to arrive.

And waited. And waited ...

After a few minutes, our waiter rushed over to apologize and take responsibility. "We're missing our regular Sunday morning cook, so everything is behind. I'm really sorry. Here's a piece of coffee cake on the house, while you wait."

A few minutes later, he returned. "We're still behind, so I'm going to take your coffees off the bill. I'm very sorry about this!"

Our brunch eventually arrived and it was delicious. 

And here's the thing: Because our waiter got out in front of the problem and "owned" the slow service, we really didn't mind. In fact, I gave him a nice tip.

The lesson is this: If you've got bad news to deliver, do it quickly, with a smile, over-communicate to keep your client in the loop, and throw in a freebie to thank them for their patience.

You can own the problem, or be owned. Pick one :-)

Meanwhile ... if you want to put an end to "feast-or-famine" syndrome in your business, my free Client Cloning Kit can help you. Grab your copy here, while they last.

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