A Good Apology Goes A Long Way

Today’s Toolbox Tip is called ‘An Apology Goes A Long Way’.

Story Of A Bad Referral

As a business coach for trades business owners, I often refer my customers to people who I think can help them or will be useful for them. And I did this with one of my clients recently and it went wrong. The guy who was dealing with the guy I referred to went AWOL, left him with someone junior and the whole project fell in a heap and he’s discontinued it.

So I was embarrassed for giving him a duff referral. I was upset and disappointed that the person I thought quite highly of let my customer down..

Then I was copied on an email from the guy who I referred to my client. They had obviously spoken, he apologized and he followed up with the written apology as well.

It was heartfelt, genuine and he meant it. He took it on the chin. He accepted responsibility for what he’d done and he proposed a way forward.

Recommended Reading: Tradie Mistake Number 3: Not Being True To Your Word

I was quite taken with it. It was a really nice apology.

I think it’s probably fair to say the situation isn’t completely rescued yet. I think my customer has a bit to go before he’s ready to trust him. But certainly some repair has been done, forgiveness is in the air and maybe liking each other again is on the cards as well.

So what’s my point?

The situation is my client, Joe, had dropped this job and moved on but the good phone call has possibly retrieved it. Certainly, the guy I referred to is open to remedy the situation.

The point of course is if you f*ck up, consider taking it on the chin and apologizing.

A good apology can often fix things.

For many of us, a f*ck-up is quite confronting, isn’t it? We can feel blamed or attacked, perhap, justifiably, if somebody’s blaming us and attacking us for what we’ve done. And it’s very hard not to get defensive and respond defensively.

‘No, it’s not my fault’, you make excuses to blame extenuating circumstances, or even point a finger back to the person who’s pointing their finger at you .

You can make a bad situation worse if you do that.

An apology can often fix it.

We all f*ck up from time to time. It’s inevitable I think in life and in business. And if you think you never f*ck up, you’re lying probably to yourself.

I’m talking about when we actually genuinely do something wrong and make a mistake – I’m not really suggesting you start apologizing when you’re not the one at fault.

You’re a trade business and that means you’re a people business. The work of your business gets done by people. Your customers are people even if they’re businesses.

Mistakes are going to get made and you need to take care of your relationships with those people. And if you don’t do that, your business will suffer.

  • Don’t forget to apologize when you’re in the wrong.
  • Protect your relationships with your staff and with your customers.
  • And protect your reputation because your reputation is very important as well.

Your reputation is important for your business and you’ll find it a lot harder to grow if your reputation is damaged by poor relationships with your customers, or by people putting angry comments on Facebook, etc.

A disappointed or angry customer can do quite a lot of damage to your reputation.

Business coaching of course, is about making money and growing your business.

It’s not only about money but that’s a big part of it so if you want me to help you with things like reputation management, you’ve got a couple of choices.


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See you later.

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