More Wine Bar Theory advice from David Gilbertson

Why a retrieved customer becomes an advocate, but an aggrieved one tells everyone not to deal with you
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Bill Butcher's illustrations for David Gilbertson's Wine Bar Theory tip no 26: Say Sorry
Bill Butcher's illustrations for David Gilbertson's Wine Bar Theory tip no 26: Say Sorry

All this week we'll be bringing you pieces of business advice from our new book, Wine Bar Theory by David Gilbertson. As CEO of media company Informa, David built the oldest newspaper in the world, Lloyd's List, from a loss-maker into one of the world's largest business media groups, with annual sales of more than a billion dollars. In so doing he launched, acquired and ran businesses of all shapes and sizes.

His book consists of 28 pieces of simple advice to save you time on the road to success and so give you a little more time in the wine bar. Sounds good, eh? What's more, each tip is easy to read, understand and implement, and they're all accompanied by Bill Butcher's wonderful illustrations. Here's tip 26: Say Sorry.

 

Bill Butcher's Wine Bar Theory illustration, for David Gilbertson's book
Bill Butcher's Wine Bar Theory illustration, for David Gilbertson's book

"Wine Bar Theory businesses are polite. Because they know it makes a difference. They say 'thank you', good morning', 'please' and, whenever it's called for, they apologize.
Whether it's with customers, suppliers or a member of the team, when smart businesses make a mistake they recognize it as a critical moment. You can either build a lifetime of loyalty or lose the relationship altogether. It just depends how you respond.

Great businesses show their human face when there is a problem. They show they care and they put things right, fast.

 

Bill Butcher's Wine Bar Theory illustration, for David Gilbertson's book
Bill Butcher's Wine Bar Theory illustration, for David Gilbertson's book

My bank account ran into unauthorized overdraft when I was a student. The bank manager, nearing retirement, called and asked me if I planned to get a job one day and when I said I did he signed the overdraft off with no charge. I kept the account for the next 25 years.

Whenever a customer has reason to complain, smart businesses respond fully, not grudgingly.

They apologize for falling short, they write to the customer personally, explain why it won't happen again and send a gift or voucher to say 'thank you' for showing them where they went wrong. Why does it matter?

This is why.

A retrieved customer becomes an advocate for your business to others. An aggrieved customer tells everyone not to deal with you. They both dine out on your story.
Smart businesses recognize the importance of saying sorry and tackling issues head on. They should never be surprised by how people react. If they are, they have only themselves to blame. Businesses that are surprised by people's responses to the things they do have failed to do a very simple thing. It's the next rule."


Like what you've read? Let us know below, check back soon for another extract, or just pick up a copy of Wine Bar Theory in the store.


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