Just like everything in life, when growing a business, mistakes are bound to happen. Someone once told me that successfully running a business is more like a skill than a mere act, and, like all skills, perfecting such things typically takes time and a whole lot of trial and error. However, while mistakes may seem dire at the moment, they can be the source of some wonderful changes, but only if we are willing to learn from them.
In the early stages of Salt IT’s customer service team, there were a lot of problems. Implementing something new into an already existing entity is always a challenge, consisting of communication issues, staffing issues, and technical issues, and while expanding our customer service department, we experienced all of these. Admittedly, there were a few customers that were negatively impacted by this in the beginning. This is not something that any of us looks back on with pride, but these unfortunate circumstances eventually became something that we all were able to learn from.
One such example was with someone who we shall call Monica. Monica had an issue with her printer and called Salt IT Solutions for help. The technician she spoke to eventually concluded that her printer head was broken. However, for the readers out there that are unaware, printer heads are not something that can be easily fixed over the phone, and repairing or replacing them typically costs just as much as (or even more than) buying a whole new printer. So, our technician declared that Monica probably just needed a whole new printer. This printer would be free of charge for Monica, so the only thing she would have to pay for was the fee for the inspection that was initially done by the technician. The problem arose when the technician forgot to inform Monica of this new printer. So, when a brand-new printer showed up on her front door, Monica was extremely concerned. Had she been charged for a printer she did not ask for? Thankfully, we had sent her an email to check in to see if she had received the printer in good condition, so she was able to contact us and voice her confusion. We did some investigating and were able to find out what had happened between her and the technician.
Such a seemingly small slip-up lead to a very distressed customer and a panicked crew. Fortunately, everything with Monica was cleared up in the end, but this incident made us all realize the importance of communication and transparency. We immediately began brainstorming ways to enhance our communication skills with our customers and fellow employees, creating detailed scripts, regulations, and communication outlets for everyone to use and follow. We also began constructing ways to showcase the inner workings of our company and our general workflow, so that there would be no question as to how we do things and how our customers would be taken care of. All these things are still a work in progress (and they likely always will be—nothing is ever perfect!), yet we almost immediately saw significant improvements within our company after rolling out these changes.
It’s so interesting (and a bit annoying) that the best things in life seem to always spawn from potentially negative circumstances. No matter how hard we try, mistakes keep happening all the time and failures often bring us down. However, those failures and mistakes are often the tools we need to achieve even greater success. Let’s all learn from our mistakes and become better and better every day!