May 19, 2016

Education

That Time We Absolutely, Totally Messed Up

Created by Ali Coşkunfrom the Noun Project

This is not something we ever anticipated writing about. It’s not something that we are feeling good about, and it’s certainly not something we feel proud about – for sure.

Quite frankly, we feel upset, let down and if we are completely honest – super embarrassed.

So … What happened?

wedding photographer mistakes

We actually forgot about a client.

Deep breath. Close our eyes. Pause. Exhale.

Even just typing that out makes us feel worse.

How did this happen? To put it short and simply: we missed a meeting that we had absolutely zero excuses to miss. We had a bit of a technical malfunction with our calendar system, but the responsibility lies 100% with us. We flat out forgot about a breakfast date with a potential wedding couple.

Once we realized our error – after they sweetly emailed us to let us know where they were sitting at the restaurant – one which was 45 minutes away from us, this overwhelming feeling of “oh, my God, no-no-no” washed over us both like a tidal wave.

We immediately emailed them back once we got their message, and called them. Apologized profusely and sincerely, hoping they would and could forgive our error … We were prepared to make amends in any way we could to let them know that this was not how things operate with us, that we would do everything we could to take care of them and shower them with our love and appreciation.

But it was too late.

We made a horrible first impression and they decided to not make another meeting with us.

And we totally don’t blame them. If we were in their shoes, we would probably do the same exact thing.

This is a hard lesson for us to learn, and it’s one that is going to take us a long time not to feel so much dread about in the pits of our stomachs … but like all mistakes we make, as business owners, we have to learn from them.

So why are we sharing this today?

Well, we want you to learn from our mistake. As embarrassing and downright crappy as this experience was for us, we don’t want anyone else to ever have this type of thing happen to them.

How do we intend to prevent this from happening again?

1) We plan to double check that all meetings actually show up in our calendar when we set them up. We use iCal so our calendars are all synched with our phones, laptop and desktop computers.

And

2) We will set reminders in our pre-booking workflow in 17hats to send out emails to remind everyone about the meeting.

It’s such a simple small change to the workflow we already have set in place, but we hope that it will have a big effect on the way we handle clients before they book with us so we can avoid ever letting someone down again, before we have even had the chance to meet them.

And most importantly …

We are going to give ourselves grace.

We might of messed up – but mistakes happen, from time to time, for most people. It is not the error that defines us – but how we handle it (and grow from it) that truly matters. It’s saying “it’s okay, we’re human” and realizing that sometimes grace over perfection is really what life is about.

© ashley durham photography