6 Tips for Recovering After Making a Mistake

6 Tips for Recovering After Making a Mistake

You’re a great loan officer. Having worked in this field for a while, you’re sure of your skill and ability, and quite honestly, you can work without stressing yourself out too much. You do a good job, and you know how to do it well.

Except that — for the first time in the longest time — you made a mistake. It might have been simple, like misplacing a paper or forgetting about an appointment. Or, your mistake may have been more complex, such as not relaying vital information about the mortgage application that has now jeopardized closing.

Your client is frustrated with you, and you’re really embarrassed. This guide will help you determine how to earn back their respect and get back on track.

1. Take Immediate Action

Step one to resolving any problem is avoiding hesitation. If you’ve made a mistake, the first thing you need to do is take action to fix your wrong doings.

Depending on the scenario, this may mean jumping in behind the scenes first or it may mean you need to reach out to your client immediately to let them know what’s occurred you so can find a solution together.

2. Own Up to Your Mistake

Whatever you do, don’t try to cover up your mistakes. Taking responsibility for your actions shows that you’re a true professional with the maturity needed to find a resolution. Lying removes any trust built during the working relationship.

Owning up to any shortcomings can be humbling, but it will make you a better person and professional. In fact, your clients will be more likely to reinvest their trust in you if they see your willingness to take responsibility for your actions.

3. Keep Your Composure

If you’re not used to making mistakes, realizing one may derail you. Whatever you do, don’t lose your cool. A show of emotions, be them overly emotional or an increased anger, makes you look unprofessional on top of being irresponsible. 

4. Show That You Value the Relationship

Tell your clients how much you value their relationship and that you plan to work hard to regain their trust and confidence in you. It might sound simple, but this part often gets forgotten. Careless mistakes show your customers that you don’t have their best interests at heart. By taking a moment to tell them, via email or on a call, that you’re sorry and you value their relationship, you’ll be more likely to rebuild trust, and the relationship.

5. Ask Your Clients for Help

You may have been the one who made a mistake, but that doesn’t mean you need to solve the problem on your own. Here are a few starting points to involve them in the conversation.

  • “I really want to keep your business. Tell me what you expect moving forward, and I commit to delivering on that expectation.”
  • “I know I’ve lost your trust. Are there any specific ways I can earn it back?”
  • “Here’s my suggestion for how I can resolve this issue. Does this seem like an appropriate course of action?”
  • “Will you please let me know if I’m not living up to your expectations in the future?”

6. Deliver And Then Overdeliver

Once you’ve owned up to your mistake and taken the necessary steps to find a solution for moving forward, it’s vital to deliver on those promises. You might get a second chance from your clients, but you definitely won’t get a third. So show up as your best self for every touch point moving forward.

More importantly, overdeliver for the rest of your working relationship. Be the first to reach out and ask if your client has any questions throughout the rest of the process. Make yourself available for calls. Respond to any messages immediately. You can choose to salvage your relationship or set yourself apart by over-delivering so they leave the partnership willing to sing your praises and recommend you to their peers. The latter sounds more preferable, right?

And remember, it’s important to cut yourself some slack too. Mistakes happen. You know that, and so do your clients. If you’ve gone some time without making a mistake in your career, count yourself lucky. Mistakes are a normal part of doing business. It’s not whether you make mistakes that’s important. It’s how you react to them that makes all the difference. 

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Erin Ollila

Erin Ollila is a content strategist and writer who believes in the power of words and how a message can inform — and even transform — its intended audience. Reach out to her on Instagram at @ErinOllila, or visit her website erinollila.com.