How to Keep Customers When Things go Wrong

How to Keep Customers When Things go Wrong

Customer loyalty is critical when running a business…

[Time to read: 3 minutes]

As the saying goes it costs more to find new customers than it does to look after your existing customers.

Your existing customers have invested in you and your business because they BELIEVE that you can offer them the right solution.

Being rewarded with their belief is a wonderful thing. They could have easily ordered from one of your competitors. This belief is the first step in the customer trusting you.

However, this is just the first step…

It’s so important to build more trust with your customer in order to have loyal customers.

Keeping in regular contact with your customer is an obvious step.

However, this step is sometimes overlooked – especially when things go wrong.

How to Keep Customers When Things go Wrong

If you’re supplying complex products or solutions to your customers, at some stage things may go wrong, such as:

  • Product quality issues
  • Service delivery issues
  • System failure
  • Late delivery
  • Administration errors

However, it’s at this time that you MUST look after your customer.

You must do all you can to resolve the problem.

In the past I had to deal with product supply issues to my customers where the supply chain was complex. There were occasions when I could not fix the problem immediately.

I had done all I could to investigate the problem and find ‘workarounds’ and alternative solutions. But the customer was not happy. What should I do?

In my experience updating the customer regularly and being honest is one of the best ways forward.

Phoning the customer regularly (and sometimes EVERY DAY), to update them is key – even if there is no immediate solution in sight – the fact that they KNOW you are working on the problem is important.

The customer may still be upset, and they may say something to you that hurts, but if you ‘step up’ and take control of the situation by searching for solutions; update the customer regularly and be honest – this will go a long way to build customer trust in the future.

I’ve been on the brink of losing a customer in the past – but these actions saved me. It’s not pleasant to see your customer upset, but this is your time to prove that they were right in believing you when they placed their first order.

Conclusion

Customers do remember when things go wrong – but they also remember when you turnaround these problems and look after them.

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Top 9 ways that Coaching helps Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs

Top 9 ways that Coaching helps Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs

Coaching for Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs

[Time to read: 8 minutes]

Coaching…Coaching…Coaching

These days the word ‘Coaching’ is used in virtually every market, and this word is sometimes overused!

So, what is coaching and how can coaching help Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs?

In this article I’m going to provide an introduction into coaching.

I’ll walk you through the top 9 ways that Coaching helps Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs.

I’ll also share some recommendations on how to select a coach.

Let’s get started!

Feel free to watch the video or read below:

What is Coaching for Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs?

There are many different forms of coaching available: Life Coaching, Business Coaching, Executive Coaching, Sports Coaching, Wellbeing Coaching…and many more!

In general terms Coaching is a solution for growing and developing people.

It’s a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires the coaching client to develop their personal and professional potential. It facilitates their growth.

Coaching for Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs can help them to develop their own performance. It is also used to help them develop the performance of their business.

Coaching is not mentoring. A Mentor is someone with a specific set of skills or knowledge that passes this information on to their client.

Sir John Whitmore sums up coaching, succinctly:

“Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximise their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them.”

Sir John Whitmore, in Coaching for Performance

It can be tough at the top!

Being a Business Leader and Entrepreneur can be exciting and incredibly rewarding. However, it can also be ‘lonely at the top’. Many leaders don’t have anyone they can turn to for support. They are expected to have all the answers and always know the next step to take with their business.

Many leaders are also under intense pressure and experience high levels of stress.

Coaching is helping the coaching client to think differently. For the purpose of this article we will assume that the coaching client is a Business Leader or an Entrepreneur.

It’s about leveraging their strengths to overcome ‘blind-spots’; helping them to create a new perspective on the situations they see in their Business or Life.

Coaching is helping the coaching client learn about their strengths and how to better apply them. It helps the client learn about their behaviours. Coaching helps them to create new insights, new perspectives, and new actions to move forward.

It’s about taking ‘high-performers’ and helping them to improve their performance.

Top 9 ways that Coaching helps Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs

If you’re considering coaching, how could it help you? 

Here are 9 ways that my clients have commented that coaching has helped them:

Time to Think

It’s rare in business today to have time to think without any interruptions. In the coaching sessions there’s no phone to answer and no emails to respond to. This means you’ll have time to clear your head, see your priorities clearly and think about what you want for you and your business.

Time to Think

Manage Stress

My clients often comment that they arrive at the coaching sessions, stressed, and overwhelmed about a ‘calamity’ that’s going on with their business or in their life – but they leave the sessions with energy – feeling refreshed.

The coaching sessions give you an opportunity to step back from the ‘drama’ which means you’ll be able to look at it from a different perspective; feel less stress and leave the sessions feeling more resourceful.

Stress Management

Confidential conversations

Many of my clients don’t have anyone that they can talk to confidentially about the challenges that they face in their business or the ideas they have for the future.

Unless you’re working with an ‘Internal Coach’ employed by the business, Coaches are typically independent to your business – which can be a bonus, as the coach can help provide a different perspective on your situation.

In either case the ‘Coaching Programme’ is usually covered by a coaching agreement which includes a confidentiality clause. In my case, confidentiality underpins everything I do. I also subscribe to the International Coach Federation (ICF) Code of Ethics.

Extracting Your Ideas

One of my clients mentioned that one of the main benefits of coaching was the opportunity to extract all the ideas in his head. Which meant that he could ‘see’ them and then figure out what to do with them!

Problem Solving

The coaching sessions are often used to help resolve a business or life-related problem.

The coach will help you to explore problems that you face and look for options to resolve them. Coaching helps you to become more resourceful. This means you’ll better equipped to handle other problems that may show up in the future.

Eliminating Limiting Beliefs

Many business leaders and Entrepreneurs (at times) struggle with limiting assumptions and limiting beliefs that prevent them from making decisions; moving forward and resolving the challenges that they face. For example, some leaders develop a limiting belief pattern where they say to themselves “I always mess this up” or “I just can’t do it” or “I’ll never make it in business”.

Limiting beliefs restrict the actions that you are prepared to take, which in turn affects the results you’ll get. The limited results that you see re-enforce the limiting belief and then the cycle repeats again and again.

The coaching sessions can help you to break-free of this cycle by challenging your limiting assumptions and limiting beliefs so that you can make more informed choices and decisions and break-through what’s been holding you back in your business and life.

Developing Strategy & Direction

The coaching sessions can be used to help you to create a strategy and direction for you and your business.

With your coach you’ll be able to focus on the desired outcomes you want for your business and you’ll ‘brain-storm’ solutions to achieve them.

The coach will help you to clarify goals and actions so that you’ll be able to create and implement a strategy to take you in the direction that you want to go.

Your Sounding Board

The Coach is on your side. Being your ‘sounding board’ means that the coach will ‘test’ and challenge your ideas and any limiting beliefs that show up! The coach is like your ‘ideas’ sparring partner!

Sounding Board

Developing Leadership

This last one sums up all the previous ways that coaching can help you and brings us back to one of the key-aims of coaching that I described earlier:

“Coaching is a solution for growing and developing people.”

In the case of the Business Leader and Entrepreneur, coaching helps them develop their Leadership – not just in their Business, but Leadership in their Life as well. Which is why coaching is so important for Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs.

In my coaching practice, I focus on helping Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs develop their Leadership by helping them to become more resourceful, confident, and capable leaders.

This ultimately helps them to create more success in their Business and Life.

Leadership

Should you try coaching?

Well, only you can answer that question! Hopefully this article has answered the questions you had and has given you a clearer understanding of what coaching is.

Each of my clients tends to have something unique about what brings them to coaching – a specific result that they want to achieve. However, one thing that is common with all my clients is their desire for change.

Most have hit a ‘threshold’, where they’ve ‘had enough’ about their situation or something that’s going on with their business or life.

If coaching is something you would like to try, I suggest searching for a few coaches initially, and check-out their profile, background, accreditations, testimonials and perhaps most importantly of all – ask yourself “Does this coach resonate with me?”.

Conclusion

So, in summary we have learned that one of the core-aims of coaching is to help people to grow and develop.

We’ve learnt that Coaching is different to Mentoring.

I’ve shared 9 ways that coaching can help Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs:

  • Time to Think
  • Managing Stress
  • Confidential Conversations
  • Extracting Your Ideas
  • Problem Solving
  • Eliminating Limiting Beliefs
  • Developing Strategy & Direction
  • Your Sounding Board
  • Developing Leadership

And I’ve also provided some recommendations on how to select a coach.

One thing I want to leave you with is that the coaching experience is unique for each coaching client. Some of my Clients comment on other ways in which coaching helps them.

The success of the coaching sessions is not just dependent on the coach – it is just as dependent on the client, as what the client gets out of coaching session, is really down to what they put in!

Coaching can also be an uncomfortable experience for some, as it often requires them to go out of their comfort zone for them to grow and develop.

But if the coaching client is committed to the coaching process, the rewards can be unlimited!

I hope you enjoyed reading this article if you did please comment and share!

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How to deal with failure and disappointment in business

failure and disappointment

How to Deal with Failure and Disappointment in Business

[Time to read: 6 minutes]

Why do I always screw-up? Why does it never go right for me? I’m never going to succeed!

That’s a depressing start to a blog! But I remember having these thoughts many years ago.

At times I struggled with how to deal with failure and disappointment in business.

Failure – even the mention of this word back then used to bring a ‘sinking’ feeling in my stomach as I used to remind myself of previous times I screwed-up. For many in business, experiencing failure creates negative emotions.

In this blog we’re going to explore failure and disappointment in business; what happens when we experience disappointment and what we can do to avoid the negative feelings associated with failure and disappointment that many in business struggle with.

What is failure?

Well, I think we all know failure, but when researching for this blog, I looked it up on Wikipedia to see what it said:

“Failure is the state or condition of not meeting a desirable or intended objective and may be viewed as the opposite of success.”

So pretty obvious, but it focuses on the original intention to succeed – and an expectation for a specific result, that doesn’t happen. 

What is disappointment?

Wikipedia states: “Disappointment is the feeling of dissatisfaction that follows the failure of expectations or hopes to manifest. Similar to regret, it differs in that a person who feels regret focuses primarily on the personal choices that contributed to a poor outcome, while a person feeling disappointment focuses on the outcome itself. It is a source of psychological stress.”

It refers to a ‘feeling’ that follows the failure of expectations and it touches on disappointment being one of many causes of stress.

To make matters worse during the ‘failure’ you may have heard words about you that hurt.

What happens when we get disappointed?

Disappointment is a powerful emotion, in-fact it’s one of the tougher emotions we experience. Disappointment hurts!

People react to the emotion of disappointment in different ways – some get angry; some get sad; some beat themselves up and some blame other people.

Let’s face it – in business there are many opportunities to fail and thus many opportunities to experience disappointment. From my personal experience in business and that of my coaching clients we all have experience of failure and disappointment. 

Here are some examples of typical business ‘failures’ can create disappointment:

    • Not winning a business opportunity
    • Losing a customer
    • Losing a valued member of staff
    • Messing up a presentation or a sales pitch
    • Making a mistake…just screwing up!

In this blog we’re going to discover how to respond to the feeling of disappointment in different ways – more empowering ways.

What can we do to overcome disappointment in business?

Better Out Than In!

As we discovered earlier there could be many reasons in business why we could be feeling disappointed. If for example you’ve made a mistake – be honest and apologise for it. You’ll gain more respect with honesty than anything else.

Perhaps you’re disappointed about something that someone else screwed up, don’t hide it – talk about it – be curious to find out what happened. How could you help that person improve in the future?

If there’s no-one you can talk with, then write about your disappointment. Perhaps you need to vent about it to get it out?! If you do then write down your frustrations – by writing this on paper, you can ‘say’ everything you want to – once you’ve done that – destroy it.

Each of these are great ways to ‘extract’ the disappointment.

As the saying goes “Better out than in!”.

What Can You Learn?

So, in the previous section we discovered that talking about the failure and disappointment can help to extract the negative emotion. Be mindful of how long you focus on the ‘problem’ though. When we focus our time on a problem, it tends to get bigger in our minds.

Focusing more time and energy on what you can learn about the perceived failure will help point you in the right direction so you can move on.

As Henry Ford once said, “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.”

With every mistake I’ve made in business (and I’ve made a few!) I’ve learned something. I moved forward trying to not repeat those mistakes. I tend to make new ones now!

…But seriously, I think Business and Life is about making mistakes, learning from them, not repeating them and to keep moving forward.

So, next time you experience a failure, try asking yourself these questions:

    • What can I learn from this situation to help me?
    • What could I do differently next time?
    • How will this situation serve me?
    • How could I use this situation to help others?

Learn from People That Fail the Most

I love reading biographies and auto-biographies about successful business leaders. Every holiday, I take a book with me to read. Last time was a book about Elon Musk.

One thing I’ve learned from reading these books is that the people that succeed in business the most, tend to have had huge failures – and lots of them.

These books are full of insights and learning opportunities for us. You get to learn about their experiences; their ‘failures’ and their successes. But I think perhaps most importantly you get you learn about their mindset – how they keep going forward despite the mistakes and failures.

My favourite reads so far have been about Richard Branson, Steve Jobs and Elon Musk. But there are so many leaders to read about.

So, why not search for a book about a business leader who inspires you?

Create New Insights

Learning from other business leaders by reading books about them is a great way to create new insights. Another way is to read quotes. I’ve got to admit I’m a big fan of quotes – I try to read one each day. I find they create so much inspiration for me.

Here are some of my favourite quotes about failure:

"I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."

Thomas Edison

"You can't control the events of your life, but you can control what they mean to you."

Anthony Robbins

"It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed."

Theodore Roosevelt

Conclusion

So, what have we learned?

We’ve learnt more about what failure and disappointment is and how disappointment can be a source of stress.

We’ve learnt that people can react to failure and disappointment in dis-empowering ways including anger, sadness and beating themselves up.

I shared four ways to help transform the way we deal with failure and overcome disappointment:

  • Getting rid of the disappointment as quickly as possible. We discovered ways of how to do just that.
  • Learning from failure is the key to not really failing at all.
  • Learn from business leaders that succeed the most as they tend to fail the most.
  • Creating new insights for yourself by reading quotes that other people have written about failure can help to shift how you perceive failure.

In summary, realising that failure is part of business and life has been key for me. Understanding that sometimes things just don’t go our way helps.

Appreciating that you may not be able to control the events (‘failures’) that you experience, but you do have control of how you think about them; what you do about them and what they ultimately mean to you, will help you move forward.

And finally, discovering that if you look close enough at the perceived ‘failures’ you see, you’ll find the seeds of success and that is the sure way to move towards that.

So, let me ask you a question:

What’s been your biggest ‘failure’ in business?

Oh, and one more:

What can you learn from it?

So, don’t let the perceived ‘failures’ you see be your downfall.

Business ‘Failures’ are sometimes a topic for discussion during coaching sessions with my clients. If you would like to learn how coaching can help  – CLICK HERE – to read my blog article where I share the Top 9 ways Coaching helps Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs.

I hope you enjoyed reading this. If you did, please comment and share.

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During this call you’ll have the opportunity to:

  • EXPLORE the biggest challenge that you are facing right now

  • DISCOVER what you REALLY want out of your Business and Life

  • EXPOSE possible futures for you and your Business

  • EXPERIENCE coaching

Click the button below to book your ‘Discovery’ call: