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Do You Put Clients Last? 10 Ways You May Be 
Failing Your Customers (and the One Way to Put Them First)

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3. If it’s not “broke,” you don’t fix it. Many business owners subscribe to the theory that if something’s not broken, they don’t need to fix it. If the check-in paperwork your receptionist uses has been in place for years and you’re not getting many complaints, why tinker with it? If your knowledge is sufficient to handle most of your clients’ problems, why spend valuable time learning more? According to Callaway, the answer is simple: If you don’t consistently strive to improve, you’re not putting your clients first.

4. You downplay your mistakes. Nobody likes the mishmash of negative feelings that accompanies making a mistake. That’s why many business owners (and their employees) resolve matters with clients as quickly as possible when a ball is dropped, and then try to never speak of the matter again. After all, there’s no sense wallowing in your slip-up—you need to move forward! Right?

“Wrong,” states Callaway. “When your company makes a mistake, no matter how big or small, it’s your responsibility to stare that mistake in the face and get to the very bottom of what went wrong. That’s not just so you can fix one particular error; it’s so you can figure out why it happened and make sure it doesn’t occur again.”

5. You subscribe to the idea that the customer is always right. Callaway isn’t saying that you should disregard a client’s preferences and desires—of course you should try to get to the bottom of what each customer wants, and then do whatever is in your power to deliver that product or service. However, when customers are simply wrong and their best interests are at stake, it’s your responsibility to say so.

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