Tis the season to celebrate, and to be sure I have much to be thankful for – great family and friends, a successful business with loyal customers, a terrific community that I call home to, and a strong support group. Over the years I have found this time of the year to be a very busy time of the year, due to seasonal trends of the clients we work for – many of which are nonprofit organizations, and this is a critical time for them as we help prepare their year-end appeals. So while it can be a great time to spend time with those that are most important to me, I also find that this is a very stressful and hectic time in getting everything accomplished business wise.
Don’t take this the wrong way though… I am very thankful for the busy times! As any owner of a small business will tell you, there can be a fine line sometimes between turning a profit and breaking even, so given the opportunity to work overtime is a good thing. Which brings me to the message of this blog post, and that is that sometimes when you are working flat-out to get work done, you can at times make mistakes. This is especially tough when everyone is working so hard to make sure everything is done right and on time, and yet something still slips through.
Even when they are fairly minor like a missed deadline, any time you do less than what a client expects it is a difficult thing to accept. Your first inclination is to ask “what happened,” or “why?” Then ultimately, after you accept responsibility – and that is what is most important, then you need to determine “how” you can learn from the error. No one is perfect, and I learned a long time ago that in many ways, it is really the true mark of a good company that they will stand behind what they have done and make it right by the client. In the end you may still lose a customer, but at least you will gain their respect. And many times I have found that clients in the long run see the value in working with a company that does in fact accept the responsibility, because not many really will.
So in this Holiday season I give thanks to all those who have helped us grow over the years and have stood by us, and I also acknowledge those times that we have been less than perfect as a supplier. Our goal is to always provide a superior customer service experience and to be a true resource for our clients – so if we have fallen short of this, please let us know!