Encourage Bad News
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Encourage Bad News

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The other day, one of my service adviser’s came to my office to discuss the past week. We made an agreement that we would meet in private at least once a week to discuss his successes and challenges, and also discuss ways to improve our service. After telling me all the good stuff, he informed me of a situation where he dropped the ball, which resulted in a very upset customer.

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My initial thoughts were anger and disappointment. The last thing we need these days are unhappy customers. But, thankfully the years have taught me a few things about employee behavior and employee management.

I remained calm and thanked him for bringing this up and we discussed ways to correct the situation. I told him that while we need to celebrate the success stories, it is crucial to our long-term success to admit when things have gone wrong. I made a bigger deal about him coming clean than I did about the successes he had that week.

If I would have erupted in anger, he would have shut down. Also, he would not come to me the next time we had a customer issue. By thanking him and praising him for being honest, he now knows that people can make mistakes, and that we will work together to correct the problem.

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No one wants to hear bad news, but it’s a lot better than not knowing. What you don’t know, you can’t correct. And that’s a recipe for disaster.

This article was contributed by Joe Marconi. Joe is one of the 1-on-1 business coaches who helps shop owners through the Elite Coaching Program and is the co-founder of autoshopowner.com.

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