We’ve all been there. We’re annoyed from things in our day that didn’t go right. We woke up too late to get to yoga and missed our workout. The dog didn’t want to come back inside after we were thoughtful enough to let her out, twice before work. Our bangs were simply not on board with the program. Our coffee spilled as we were getting into our clean car that isn’t always clean. I could go on and on. On a normal day a couple of these things happening wouldn't faze us but too many of those things happening and we spiral into what Fred Durst sang about “just one of those days”.
Here’s the kicker though, you are a business owner, you just keep going because you have a business to run.
If you are like most business owners you never call it “work” because you love what you do, and it simply doesn’t feel like work. Even when bad things happen, most of the time, you just roll with the punches and handle it and your clients never know. Then it happens, during one of "those days", a potential client reaches out to you with one of “those” questions. With the day you have just had, you fire off an email, text, dm, or other communication while thinking, “what is wrong with people?”
This is why it is so important to be conscious of what your customer is hearing. They sought you out, and asked you the question. Although you’ve answered that question what feels like a million times, this potential client doesn’t know that and it doesn't change the fact that they have a question that needs answered. In the midst of our bad day it can be easy to get annoyed.
I had this happen not too long ago, where a potential client asked one of "those questions" in the midst of my totally awful, no good, very bad day. I vigorously typed a response, and then paused over the send button. Then I reread it. I realized that everything I was feeling, the dog, the coffee, all of it, came across in those three little sentences and it had a very annoyed undertone. Had I sent that message there would have been two people not feeling great about that response, she and I. Not only could I have lost a potential customer but as you know word of mouth is everything so I was at risk of losing future clients as well. It wasn’t her fault I was annoyed, it was a tragedy of errors throughout the day. I rewrote the message, changing the structure of a sentence and two words which changed the entire tone.
We all have bad days, thats life. As business owners it is important that we remember that every communication is part of our client experience. So next time you are having one of "those days" remember to pause, take a deep breathe and think about what your client will "hear" as you respond to them.
Have you ever responded to a client in the middle of a bad day and regretted it or paused before sending, saving yourself the embarrassment?Leave us an example in the comments! We’d love to hear from you!
Amber Clark is a serial entrepreneur who’s on her third or eighth business, we can’t keep up. Currently she owns and loves Up Balloon Boutique and So Home Collective. We can’t wait to see what she creates next in the business world. You can follow Amber @upballoonboutique and @sohome_collective