RAB Insights

RAB Research Archive

Mistakes happen

Recently, it was time to upgrade the lighting setup in the RAB video recording studio. I did lots of research on the types of lighting and the companies that made them. Of course, I was looking for the cheapest solution that provided the best quality. I settled on LED panels from a company called GVM (Great Video Maker).

When the three panels that we ordered arrived, one of them had an issue with some burned-out LED bulbs. I contacted the company, and they immediately responded that they would send me a replacement panel and do so with expedited shipping at no cost to me. They also indicated that I could keep the panel with some burned out bulbs because it may have some use to me.

One day later I received the package — a brand new panel, but a second panel was also included. Recognizing a mistake must have been made in packing, I again contacted the company and informed them of their mistake. They indicated it wasn't a mistake, it was their way of apologizing for the inconvenience — a free, extra panel which was the model up from the ones I had purchased.

My reaction to how they handled the mistake? I'm telling you about it as a positive story. When you sell products and services, making a mistake or disappointing a customer is not an "if," it's a when. Humans are not perfect, and we are bound to screw up from time to time. Making a mistake is natural; how you respond to your mistake is not always intuitive.

In my experience, there is one question you should always ask when you make a mistake that will minimize the impact: What can I do to make this right? By asking the question, you let the person affected share what they need. Many times, it's just to vent or tell you how they feel and if they do ask for something, it's likely less than what you are prepared to do.

Here's the really important part, based on my recent experience. Always try to give them a little something more than they asked for. In my case, I will use this company again because of how they handled the mistake.

Mistakes happen. My suggestion is to ask what you can do to make it right, then give a little more and you'll quickly turn a negative into a positive.

Jeff Schmidt is the SVP of Professional Development. You can reach him at Jeff.Schmidt@RAB.com. You can also connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Source: Jeff Schmidt, SVP of Professional Development, RAB