Isn’t it frustrating when you present the details of a project or an agreement (in person or in writing) in a well thought out and (dare I say) elegant manner, only to have the client or vendor or co-worker respond with questions and assumptions that fly completely in the face of everything you just explained?? It happens to me at least once a week and it drives me bonkers — and then I realize who is to blame. Yep. It’s probably my fault.
If the recipient of my process explanation or business proposal or project instructions misunderstands what I have outlined, then I’m probably to blame.
And guess what?
When customers and co-workers misunderstand your instructions, it’s probably your fault.
We think that if we write out elaborate instructions or record process walk-through videos or include paragraphs of C.Y.A. fine print at the bottom of a service contract that it becomes the burden of the customer to understand and abode by those details.
The problem is, the customer is expecting you to assume the responsibility for making their project a success, whether it conforms to your reams of details instructions or not.
When something goes wrong, they are going to blame you — so you may as well assume the fault and get in front of it before it gets to the arguing and finger-pointing stage.
You should choose the customers you want to work with very carefully.
You owe it to yourself and your company to make sure that they are a good fit for the service and products you offer. You certainly want to evaluate the potential for future business growth and account development, but you also want to make certain they are a good fit for your company culture, that they are pleasant, professional and fun to work with, and that your personalities are as good a match as your products and services.
When you care enough to pre-qualify a client based on those important elements and something goes wrong, how could anyone else be at fault but you?
Take the blame.
Own the fault.
Earn the recovery.