Strategy #8: Culture of ZERO Excuses

Admit when things go wrong. Admit when you’ve made a mistake. Nothing urges a customer more to leave than hearing excuses and reasons about why things went wrong. And then get busy making things right.  “We were in the wrong and here’s our plan to make it RIGHT!” When things go wrong, do not shy away from addressing the issue and finding ways to solve it immediately.  Sometimes fixed mistakes can even build loyalty for life.

“I recall a time in our business when a supplier shipped rancid peanuts that they then recalled.  After immediately disposing of stock, we swiftly called every purchaser and recipient to notify of the product and provide a coupon for them to shop again.  Most were simply gracious and others were blown away about our immediate response and the proactive actions we took to resolve.  One even exclaimed, ‘What a delight!’ at our honesty and they’d keep buying from us for sure.”

Mistakes will happen. And when they do, how do each of your teammates take ownership of the issue and make amends? Do they come up with excuses or apologize and work together to find a solution? Creating this kind of culture not only applies to the relationships between you and your customers, but also starts within your company and team.

Admitting when things go wrong requires accountability and responsibility from every person on your team. And it requires each person to take ownership of their actions. Accountability is about follow-through, and knowing that your actions will create a ripple effect within your team. When someone makes a mistake and notices their shortcomings, are they making a solid effort to be honest and pro-active in their communication with the rest of the team and the client? Being accountable builds trust within your team AND within the relationship between you and your clients.

  • When employees take ownership of their actions, they feel more personally invested in the business, and will make decisions with more care.
  • How are you modelling accountability in your relationships to create a culture of zero excuses?
  • What system could you put into place immediately to ensure there are no excuses, instead ownership and responsibility for problems/mistakes?
  • How can you set expectations of your employees, so that they are proactive instead of reactive when dealing with mistakes?

As a leader of your team, how can you encourage to foster healthy relationships with respect, honesty, transparency and vulnerability within your team?

– The Gift Designers Team

Image credit: ActionCoach Business Coaching 

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