We happen to be in a business in which we are faced with the possibility of displeasure or downright rejection with each new client. We have to try to decipher what our client really wants their website to look like and be. If we felt we had to be perfect every time, I think we probably would have changed careers a long time ago.
A perfect example came from a client that initially did not have a clear direction about what she wanted for her website. We put up a website for her and she gave us an initial "okay". After a few days we received this email:
|"I'm tired and out of sorts tonight and want to say this kindly, but honestly. There is lots that on first glance that I like and some things that I either need some clarification on or need to ask you to make some changes. Let me just tell you my first gut check . . . the color scheme of a very sad yellow with green letters reminded me of body waste...maybe because I'm a nurse...but when I see yellow I think of pee and when I see green I think of the bacteria Pseudomonas. . . . "|
I suppose we could have crawled away in shame . . . defeated . . . failed . . .
Instead, we realized it was the perfect opportunity to get at what her vision really was for her website. As a result, she became a fan and has sent a number of clients our way. In fact, to this day, this remains one of my most favorite emails from a client.
All in all we do a pretty good job because we made the decision to approach each new job as an opportunity to listen to and connect with our client throughout the process. Our job is to bridge that gap between what's in the clients' head and how it will be represented on their website. We ask our clients to be totally honest with their feedback and not worry about hurting our feelings because it's about the client, not about us.
As a small business, it's easy to get stuck trying to get everything perfect for your customers/clients. You want to make a good impression - you want your customers to have the best experience possible - you want your product or service to be just right. And sometimes this desire can keep you from moving forward. You are afraid of making a mistake, or doing something that your customers won't like.
But what if you were able to look at it from a different point of view? What if you decided that you would do the best you can, but that making a mistake would not be the end of the world? Instead, it would create an opportunity to interact with your customer in a personal way. How awesome would that be?
If you inadvertently send them the wrong product or left an important piece of information off of your website, and a customer brings it to your attention, take this opportunity to respond to them quickly, fix the problem, help them and thank them for caring enough to bring the error to your attention. They will appreciate you for taking the time to interact with them and you may be rewarded with a loyal customer for life.
So don't worry if you don't get everything perfect. Your customers don't really expect perfection from you, they just need to know that you are listening to them. They need to know that they are heard and that you care about them.