It would be nice to think that doing right by clients was a value that every business honoured, but sadly it isn’t necessarily the case.
Where some might do work for work’s sake, that’s not what we do. At Creative Words we want to do right by our clients, so, if we don’t think we can help, or if now isn’t the right time, we’ll say so. If we make a mistake we’ll own up to it and do what we can to put it right. And if we see other opportunities or can make other connections for clients, we will.
Avoid being red-faced
Before launching Creative Words, my background was in consulting. At the last firm I worked for they had a rule of thumb called ‘the red face test’. In other words, you had to ask yourself if you’d be embarrassed and red-faced if a client discovered you’d taken a particular course of action.
It was an effective tool and really rubbed off on me, so now we operate in exactly the same way at Creative Words. It isn’t always easy contacting a client and admitting to a mistake but holding your hands up and being honest certainly beats them discovering it for themselves!
Let’s take a look at how this value has showed up for us…
Frances and the Alchemy Package
(Names have been changed to protect the innocent!)
Frances is an important client for Creative Words. She has one of our Content Alchemy Packages, so she pays monthly for a ‘bucket of hours’ and we take care of everything for her across blogs, email marketing, website and campaigns.
For a period of time, because of COVID and a strategic review she was taking of her whole business, Frances wasn’t using our services as much as she had previously. This meant she started to build up a credit of hours which she’d paid for but not used.
Handling mistakes head on
Unfortunately, we hadn’t been tracking Frances’s time very carefully, but as soon as we noticed the build-up of hours, we sat down with her and admitted our mistake.
Together we looked at the current content we were providing, and then reduced her monthly rate to the point where Frances would gradually use up the hours of credit.
You have an opportunity to do better
This was a big lesson for us, and not a mistake we’ll repeat. Frances appreciated that we’d brought the situation to her attention as soon as we realised, and that we’d worked with her to find a solution that she was comfortable with.
Whenever mistakes happen (and they will from time to time, however much we’d wish they wouldn’t) it’s how you deal with them and learn from them that’s important. Now we have systems in place that ensure we keep an eye on the hours consumed for every client. If we get more than three months ahead (or behind) we adjust their rate to be sure they aren’t over- or under-paying.
The simple fact is, if a client doesn’t need us as much as they expected, we won’t just take their money and hope they don’t notice. That’s not (nor will it ever be) how we do things around here!
If you’re looking for a content partner who you can trust to do right by you, book an exploratory call – we’d love to work with you.