Encourage Bad News
The other day, one of my service advisors 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.
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.
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.