It’s not what you do now, but what you do after the mistake that counts

Alan Weiss, a well-known management consultant, wrote some prophetic words recently: We’re all human, he says, and that means we’ll make mistakes. We tend to be tolerant of other people’s mistakes. We know the mistake was not intentional, by definition.

The real issue is what we do after we make a mistake. Do we cover it up? Do we exacerbate it by seeking to focus responsibility for the error elsewhere? Or, on the other hand, do attempt to make recompense?

For example, if a hotel makes an error in the reservation, do they accept the mistake and then provide you with a free night’s lodging? If a restaurant server spills coffee on you, do they “comp” your meal and offer you a free meal for your next visit to them?

As lawyers, in situations other than missed court filing dates and the like, what do we do for our clients to assure them they will be served effectively … and, when we err, what do you we do to “make up” for our mistake or our staff’s mistake? That is where the client really understand our superior service … and our intent to be world class in serving their needs and wants.


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