I take great comfort from the fact that some of the greatest inventions came from making mistakes. Thomas Edison found more than 10,000 ways not to make a light bulb before he found the way to make one that worked.Then there is the person at 3M who realised that non sticky glue could be used to create post it notes. One of the greatest inventions for a trainer ever!. Making mistakes is not only ok, in fact sometimes when we take responsibility for what has happened amazing things can happen.

“Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time”
George Bernard Shaw

Mistakes in Customer Service

In the many customer service workshops I have delivered over the years we spend a significant amount of time focusing on dealing with complaints and mistakes. Why,  because we now know that handling a complaint in the right way is key to good customer service.

All too often working with clients I come across situations where a problem has occurred and it is all about “blame”. This gets passed around like a hot potato, and the poor customer on the receiving end of the mistake gets more and more frustrated. Instead of focusing on the customer problem and how to resolve it, teams are looking for the scape goat so that they can say in the immortal words of Shaggy, “It wasn’t me”.

On the other hand we can take a proactive approach to customer problems. We can:
1. Recognize that a mistake has been made and take ownership.
2. Listen to and appreciating the customers perspective.
3. Apologize.
4. See what we can do to rectify it and give the customer what they value most.

The impact can be significant and the feedback will usually be even better than if things had gone smoothly. In customer service it is a case of its not how you start its how you finish !

Mistakes in Life

Have you ever made a mistake and found a way to not only make the best of it but to end up with a better result. I once left my laptop in my office when heading out to deliver some training (a very early start). What could have been a disaster ended up being one of my best sessions. I was totally focused on participants without the distraction and restrictions that come from using powerpoint and got some of the best feedback I have ever had

Sometimes what now looks like a mistake was the best decision we could make at the time. In a coaching session recently a client couldn’t stop thinking about a life choice they had made over 10 years earlier. A decision not to take voluntary redundancy meant he had been ‘demoted’ to a role that he had never moved on from. He saw the voluntary redundancy was a missed opportunity, rather than seeing that as a father of 3 young children it may not have been the best option at that time. I encouraged him to let the past go and think what he could do now, when it was a better time to take on a new challenge. He is now in the process of setting up his own business!

We Are Human

We all have make mistakes and some of us have regrets. So lets develop the confidence and the self belief that we can rectify and make the best of whatever happens. In customer service this creates the sense that things will be resolved quickly and easily. It helps us to build our reputation as someone who can be relied upon and trusted. In life it sets the tone for who we are as a person. Someone who pushes boundaries and challenges ideas, all with the appreciation that sometimes things don’t go quite as planned.

Embracing Change is a key principle of being Limitless for Life. It can mean taking risks and making mistakes, taking responsibility for this and even turn difficult situations into a positive! So you see it is ok to make mistakes, in fact sometimes its to be actively encouraged!

For more information about how Limitless for Life can help you see our website www.limitlessforlife.co.uk or contact Alison Burgess on 07931 556 167.

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