Apologizing to a Client…

This is a serious article about the not so pleasant side of working virtually. This read is specifically for those who truly want to get their first client and keep them. I’m always amazed when someone has practically begged me for work or to pass along our overflow work to them, when our team needs help and then they do a horrible job, try to overcharge for the work they have done, aren’t responsive to me or our clients and get upset when this is brought to their attention. Worst yet, some have actually said they were busy or just had something come up. Again, these freelancers are asking me for work and then don’t do a good job or have to be reminded to do the work! As a business owner, I’m far too busy to have to deal with a team member who is not cutting the mustard and may have a bad attitude to boot. Trust me, your clients feel the same way. No one is irreplaceable in the work force, so you need to be on top of your game 99% of the time when it comes to pleasing your clients. However, what about that 1% of time when you honestly make a mistake and have disappointed your client? What should you do? How should you apologize?

Well let me first acknowledge that I know there are clients out there who only seem to have a problem with your work or complain when the invoice come; I’m not referring to them. However, if you have clients who pay you on time and try to treat you fairly, you should make sure to do everything you can to be authentic, honest and hard working for them. Well, what if you or your team member(s) make an honest mistake? Make sure you’re quick to give a sincere apology. However, always survey the situation first. If you weren’t given clear instructions by the client or something else on the clients part contributed to the error, you can mention this in a tactful way, AFTER you apologize to keep it from happening going forward. I personally have no problem offering monetary compensation when my team has made an error and/or missed a client deadline. Since I make sure it doesn’t happen often, even if I have to do the work myself, offering monetary compensation is just the right thing to do in my book and helps maintain client loyalty and goodwill. While it’s not the easiest thing you’ll have to do as a business owner, apologizing to a client is necessary when you and/or your team have definitely made a mistake. Doing so quickly will make it much easier. Next, make sure to remedy any causes for the issue in the first place. Not every part of being a freelancer or entrepreneur is fun, however, you can’t run from issues that come up and if handled properly they can help you grow as a business owner and improve your business at the same time. Share your tips for apologizing in the comments below. All the best!

This is Shilonda Downing, signing off for Virtual Work Team LLC!