Steps to Take When You've Made a Mistake
Mistakes happen. Unfortunately, sometimes they happen at work, and sometimes your work contains sensitive information. At your insurance business, you also work with clients for whom a mistake could mean a serious problem in the future, if you don't ensure that they are well-insured. While mistakes happen, you need to manage them very skillfully if you're in a business in which a mistake could have a huge cost to you and the client.
Accept Responsibility for Your Mistake
You discover that your business has been hacked. While you felt that your business was secure, you realize that you have not been diligent in a number of ways. You slipped up, and client information has been compromised. What do you do now?
You need to own up to your mistake.
First, communicate what happened. Let your client know what you plan to do next. According to Small Biz Trends, you must "Give honest time frames and then keep your word. If you promise to follow up next week, follow up next week."
The apology is an important part of accepting responsibility as well. Make sure that you apologize to your clients if your mistake caused hurt or damage, and ensure that you can repair the damage caused. Showing that you're able to acknowledge the mistake, apologize, and put new measures in place to prevent it from happening again will help maintain your clients' trust in your company.
Create a Culture of Acceptance
Everyone makes mistakes. At your workplace, one of your roles is to create a culture in which messing up is ok. You need to know when your employees make a mistake because then you're better able to fix the problems that led up to it. Invite transparency about mistakes and encourage employees to document them and suggest solutions.
Learn From Your Mistake
Any time you make a mistake, big or small, see it as an opportunity for learning. According to the Harvard Business Review, most mistakes "contribute to organizational and personal learning; they are an essential part of experimentation and a prerequisite for innovation." Congratulate employees who bring forward problems that they see with the company's processes. While it can be hard to accept feedback, it's even harder to have dissatisfied customers due to the fact that your processes are inaccurate. Instead, work to put feedback processes in place and make changes due to mistakes.
Get E&O Insurance
While some clients are forgiving, some clients are not. Also, if you make a mistake, it could have a very real impact on a client's life. For instance, incorrect or inadequate coverage could mean the difference between a client being able to cover the cost of a loss and the client having insufficient coverage to repair a home after a fire or replace a vehicle.
In this case, the client could decide to sue your company. If so, you must be ready. With E&O insurance, you have insurance coverage in case of accidental errors and omissions. This allows you to refine your insurance practices without focusing on a constant fear that you are still missing something that could lead to mistakes and irreparable damage to your insurance business.
At American Agents Alliance, we understand your need for in-depth understanding, strong work practices, and a group of employees who are constantly enhancing their skills. That's why we're here: to provide you with access to networks and resources that help your insurance business work. Contact us today and learn more about our many membership benefits.