Have you ever found yourself in a position where you have made a mistake when Quoting for a client? Have you ever told a client one thing but realized that you may have to deliver something different? Have you ever promised to deliver a service to a client within an agreed time, but took more time than anticipated?
Well, you don’t need to worry. Every business has ever gone through this, especially a newbie in the industry. As humans, we are bound to make mistakes and Majestic Events is no stranger to these mistakes.
Storytime With Victoria*
It seems like just yesterday for Victoria. She was working on a project that she hoped would be her best project ever. But the hurdles she jumped through changed the project into a learning experience – a lesson to carry through life as an Event Planner.
Mistake 1 – Mis-Quoting: The event was done before, with the same suppliers, venue, and details. “Seems easy, just use the previous quotes from different years”. This is exactly what Victoria did. Little did she know, the changing market rates would become one of her enemies. This meant that the rates and quotes she gave during the last event were not the same, thus resulting in her starting the quoting process from scratch.
Mistake 2 – Delivery Time: Being a client they had worked with before, Victoria thought this would be an easy project and the services required would be delivered within a short timeline. She soon understood that the client’s requirements were different this time round and she would have to get new quotes from suppliers. If you are in the Events industry, you know that these are not always obtained immediately – and that is what happened. This resulted in the quote being shared with the client later than initially agreed.
Mistake 3 – Payment Terms: Imagine having a client with two different events within the same month. Each event demands its activities, suppliers, and budget. The finance source for each event is also different and the payment terms to and from the client are different. How would you go about ensuring your client gets the best out of each? Well, Victoria ran into a challenge. After the first event, some payments needed to be cleared with suppliers and the host (venue). However, whatever budget was allocated for the event was not financially cleared and the host required payment before departing the venue. What would you do? Victoria gave a solution that at the time seemed to solve all her problems – She paid the host of the first event with payments intended for the second event. This caused problems when it came to the second event. I will leave it to your imagination.
The Key To Transparency
There are many other examples we could give regarding mistakes made when dealing with clients. Whatever the mistake is, it is in the best interest of your business and your relationship with your client to rectify. Go about it in 4 easy steps:
- Acknowledge: The first thing you need to do is acknowledge your mistake. Your client’s name is Majestic Events but you put down their details as Majestics Event; You wanted to send a quote for Kes 3,000 but added an extra zero to become Kes 30,000; You put in the wrong formula (multiplication instead of addition) and so it messed up the total amount; You used an old quote from 6 months ago to work on a new quote with new market prices. Whatever the reason, recognize that you have made a mistake. From there, you can know how best to handle the situation.
- Communicate: Get your phone and call your client. Better yet, write them an email. Alert them that you have made a mistake and apologize for the inconvenience caused – they will appreciate your honesty. Most importantly, assure them that a solution will be found.
- Find A Solution: Some solutions could be easy, especially if the mistake is as simple as a typing error. However, some errors cannot be solved on your computer. Some might need long-term solutions to salvage the relationship with the client. Remember to tailor your customer’s experience to their demands, and concerns and be flexible with your solution. Whatever the case, your client’s interests must come first. You can consider throwing in a complimentary service in addition to what you have quoted for them.
- Read, Re-read, and Proofread: Have a second eye and even a third one. Proofread your documents before sending them out. Better yet, allow your colleague to go through them as well. You’d be surprised how much an extra eye can spot. Make sure you get that “second eye” opinion.
Transparency is key! Your clients, suppliers, and business partners will appreciate it if you are honest with them. If there is an issue on your end, for one reason or another, it is good to communicate it. Businesses should strive to create, cultivate, and maintain great relationships. This can only happen if you address the problem, communicate with your clients, offer a solution, and ensure that all is well before sending it to the client. Your client will appreciate your candor.