Mistakes happen. In fact, most businesses will have to face the consequences of their errors at least once in their lifetime. For large companies, mistakes may not seem to matter to their reputation as the lack of alternative competition forces the audience to remain loyal, as it is the case for most of Microsoft solutions. Clients are happy to accept bugs as they can’t find a replacement for the leading solution. But for anybody who doesn’t run a multinational monopolistic company, a mistake can have costly results and even causes a significant loss of revenues. What is the most effective way of recovering your business reputation after an error?
What does your audience think of you?
First of all, and that is assuming that you’ve been already looking for a solution to fix your mistake, you need to find out how your audience feels about it. Imagine that you’re run a fast-food restaurant, and you accidentally ran out of ingredients as a result of severe weather conditions. It’s likely that your audience will be annoyed at the time of the incident, but checking social media should comfort you in the knowledge that your customers will remain loyal as soon as you get a new delivery. But if your mistake has lasting consequences, you will need to monitor your online reputation closely to tackle damages before it’s too late. At this point, an ORM tool can do the job for you.
Promote your qualities
While customers understand that mistake happen, they also expect companies to apologize for their wrongdoing. Consequently, the best way to show your audience that you care about their situation is to produce a public mea culpa. The apology allows you to acknowledge the mistake and gives you enough room to provide an explanation for its existence and a solution on how you plan to sort things out. You can use the mea culpa to promote your customer service, your problem-solving skills and the self-improvement lesson you’ve learned.
Get back to your audience
Saying you’re sorry is one thing. But you need to regain your audience’s attention and to sparkle the conversation anew. You might need to rely on the professional services of an agency, such as HelloWorld, to create cross-channel promotional messages. Ultimately, the purpose is to get your audience talking again about your business without feeling the need to discuss the mistakes of the past. For some, social media engagement can do the trick. For others, massive discount offers can get your clients onboard.
Move on; nobody is perfect
Finally, you need to be a realist about this. You did something wrong. While no business enjoys mea culpas, it doesn’t mean that a mistake can define your company. Once everything has been sorted out – in other words, once you’ve made sure that customers have been compensated for the damages and that it can’t happen again – it’s time to move on. Mistakes are ultimately lessons to learn to improve your business strategy. There’s no point dwelling on your wrongdoing forever.
Your reputation is volatile and suffers the consequences of errors. But as it does, it can also grow as a result of how your business deals with mistakes.