Repairing a Damaged Business Relationship

Mistakes happen in business, it’s inevitable, so you learning how to repair the damage, is vital to your longevity. The faster you realize that something went wrong, and that your client is upset, the faster you can start to repair the damage. Both internal and external communication is key to repairing damaged business relationships. I know one thing, “If you don’t repair the damage, you’re not going to get any future business,” that’s for sure. No relationship is perfect, even in marriage you’re going to have issues, so having business relationship issues is just par for the course.

The good thing is that if you’re willing to put the work in to repair the damaged business relationship, there’s a very good chance that you can heal the wounds and make everything right again. Below are some simple, easy to follow tried-and-true steps, that you can implement to resolve any damaged business relationships you may have.

Define the damage.
Find out what happened, why it happened, and commit to bring a resolution to the issue.

Pay attention.
Keep eye contact if you’re in person, or stay engaged by responding back if you’re communicating via phone, email, or text.

Show concern.
Share how what happened has affected you. You want to reach some type of common ground where you both can relate.

Be empathetic.
Share how you feel their pain and why you understand how they feel. Maybe share a similar personal story where you felt the same way they did because of a circumstance that occurred.

Take action.
Make it right. Do whatever it takes to make the situation correct as fast as possible.

Be accountable.
There’s nothing worse than providing lip service and then not backing it up by doing what you said you were going to do.

Make the changes.
Do what you said you were going to do to make the situation right, and then continue to follow up and make sure that the same issue doesn’t happen again.

Remember, when it comes to repairing a damaged business relationship, “The simpler, the better, and don’t make anything too difficult to understand.” Just stick to the main points, and work together as a team to make things right again. Trust comes with time. Go above and beyond the norm. Show that you care, show that their business relationship with you is of utmost importance, and you’ll win them back. Stay away from blame shifting and name calling, as those types of school yard actions will only drive the relationship you’re trying to rebuild in the opposite direction that you want it to go.