Three Steps You Must Take When It All Goes Wrong

Tuesday was not my day.

That’s an understatement.

I can blame a chunk of the misfortune on recovery from Thanksgiving and a two day in a row failure to set an alarm clock {miracles happen and Remy made it to school on time each day}.

I can blame a bigger chunk on being completely off of my daily rituals. Whenever I have a day that doesn’t start with them, nothing every goes smoothly.

But, I can blame the majority on technical failure.   It was like the technology fairy had gotten a devilish streak and my website was her favorite playground.

The emails had come in before I had woken up, but the Facebook messages and posts were what I saw first.   Items were missing, video wasn’t working, and it was clear the site we’d worked so hard on wasn’t functioning right. On a normal day this could have been okay. But, on a day when our developer had just arrived back in town from three weeks out of country, Ari {our techie guru} had just had a baby, and I had a full plate of clients through 8 PM that night.

In other words, life {and technology} had just gotten in the way of my business.

We all respond to mishaps in our business differently, but I’ve learned that for most of my clients and myself, the knee jerk reaction is to throw up our hand and bury our heads. Call it overwhelm, call it avoidance…whatever it’s name is, I call it reality.

The problem is a problem left to fester becomes something far more serious…it breeds mistrust on the part of your client. And, there are three steps you can take, whether your sharing why your clients favorite instructor is leaving or why your website is suddenly not enabling them to schedule their sessions.


1. Acknowledge the problem publicly.

It doesn’t do any good to hide away a serious problem that affects large quantities of your clients. In the end, your lack of acknowledgement is what will lead to the biggest concern on your clients part. And, yes, it’s perfectly okay to let people know you don’t have a solution…but that you are working on it.

I will typically reach out to client’s who this has immediately affected personally whether via email or phone. Following that we’ll have a larger address that may take place over email, Facebook, a phone call blast or postings within my business.


2. Provide a time in which you expect a resolution or to know the next step.

The most important thing in this address is simple—when will you have a resolution or the next step.

In this case, I knew I could gather my team together and fix a technical problem within a day. When it comes to an employee resigning it’s not that simple.

In this case, I immediately let clients know we will be reviewing resumes and I often ask them to please send anyone our way who would be an excellent fit…after all they know our studio best! Ironically, it’s how I’ve made some of my best hires. I give clear dates on when I expect to start interviews {which is the next step in my hiring process}, but I leave off when the new person will start {since I don’t’ have a fully functioning crystal ball}.


3. Keep communication flowing.

Once I’ve provided one date it’s crucial for me to continue to followup on where I am in this process. Once people have information, gossip dwindles and understanding reigns.   Set your calendar and lay out these communications in advance, literally the day you start from. It becomes a map not only for your client’s satisfaction, but for your sanity.


What are the mishaps that hit you hardest in your business? And, how can use these steps to change your approach to them?

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