I had requested the email but once I started reading it, I was sad, frustrated and absolutely mad. The rep had sent me a 30,000-foot recap of the last six months from one of our partner’s perspectives. It was ugly. The whole thing was a complete opposite description of what I desire about our company. I read about being late, product being defective, wrong logos on certain items and what seemed to be a lack of attention/concern for the customer.
Immediately I was sad, almost overwhelmed, with grieve. My company is costing another company money from lost sales, time in all the processing, checking, reviewing, returning, etc. and trust with us. My company is creating a bad name for my rep, who is incredible to work with and a complete professional. To call and say I am so, so sorry wasn’t enough. However, I wanted to pick up the phone and call right away (it was 7:36 on a Sunday morning, so this wasn’t possible). I just kept asking myself, “What the heck happened?” Well… Not just one thing, it was several.
Enter my frustration. We didn’t do much right… We failed to enter the order when it was originally given to us. This cost us two months… I understand human error but I would be lying if this didn’t make me want to pull my hair out. Orders are so precious. You aren’t promised the next one so you have to take care of the ones you get… Our company never takes one order for granted. This is the core of our culture. I know this because I am one of leaders of Logo and I feel this way even 15 years later. The order could be $1000 or $1 Million dollars, they are ALL important. In fact we build our business on $1000 orders. We didn’t pay attention to the art details (request) on part of the order. We manufactured several products with a defective screen print. And to make matters worse, we didn’t ship complete and on time. Have I mentioned that the customer gave us eight months? Yeah… Now my frustration and sadness for the customer turns to madness.
I am mad. Mad at our error. Mad at our plant for more than likely rushing the production which caused the bleeding on the screen print (not allowing product ample time to dry). Mad that we weren’t out in front of this mistake. Mad that this seems to always happen to this one customer. Mad because this isn’t us. This isn’t what has made us a different (better) company to partner with in the licensed business. Mad because this is unacceptable in everyway.
Immediately, I sent this to my executive team. I told them to brace themselves for the ugliness as they read. They weren't going to like it… Then I told them, lets fix this ASAP. I began to become less frustrated, less mad, less sad… I trust our team. We have the best of the best people who care… I smiled because I know we just got better due to this horrible email. Our team will make adjustments and right our wrong so I can personally call the customer this year and next year to review a better story about us… This is how the best get better. When it stops hurting then you stop growing, therefore I am thankful this hurt so bad.