We live in a day where mistakes are magnified greatly in a public way.  Social media enhances what you are doing, or what you are not doing.  And when you are not being smart, it really shows.  And when there are customers involved, it can get really bad.

Now I know that mistakes happen.  Mistakes are great learning moments if we will learn from them.  But there are some mistakes that happen that make us think… “What were they thinking?”

When a business tells their customers that (1) if they don’t like it, they can go some where else, (2) they have spent too time on serving them already and they are not going to help them anymore, or (3) they don’t think they are important enough to help; then there’s going to be trouble.

I have seen all three of the above scenarios happen to me or to some of my very close friends.  This stuff is still happening in businesses today.  It’s never good when it happens.  Business owners and employees that recognize these critical pivotal moments will be demonstrating discernment and good common sense.

Common sense comes from the process of critical thinking.  The people that really think about the consequences of their actions before they act are the ones that we attribute to having great common sense.  Critical thinking can be developed and sharpened.  It’s not a gift.  It can be developed.

When mistakes or failures happen in a business, business owners and their staff need to recognize the down side of not creating a good moment for their customers.  They need to realize that inaction might cost them more in the end than stepping up to the plate to fix the problem immediately.

Customers can reach out farther and faster with their concerns than ever before.  Years ago they told ten friends. Now they can tell thousands online quick.  Common sense tells us that we need to fix a problem when we recognize it.  That means our staff have to be sharp and empowered to fix a problem.

Lately, we seem to be seeing more failures than fixes.  People do not seem to understand that a little effort to fix a problem early on is better than a huge fire fighting campaign way after the fact.  Problems need to be fixed before they ever hit social media.  At that point, there might be a huge fire to put out.  Remember, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

So business owners, please help your employees see the benefit of critical thinking or good old common sense when a customer has a problem.  Common sense says fix it early.  Empower your staff to make the right decisions quickly.  After all, what we want amplified online is… “How great we are to our customers” and “How much they really love what we do.”

Make sure that your staff has the training necessary to stop a customer disaster before it ever happens.  This will make a great difference in your business and your customer’s perception of your business.  Give them something great to shout about, offline and online.