Lesson #283: Be Accountable, Honest & Check Your Work

Oops, We Made a Mistake

I’m just writing to let you know about a lesson we learned recently. We got some really valuable takeaways from this experience, and I thought it would be awesome for you to learn from our own experience (so you don’t have to!).

About a month ago, we had moved a client’s website to our hosting, which meant that they didn’t need to keep the old hosting service anymore. So, we let it expire. It expired on June 7th and 20 days later the client realized she wasn’t receiving email anymore.

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As soon as I got into the office, I investigated and it turns out the email forwarding on her account was actually attached to the hosting, not the domain registration. I reinstated the hosting for one month while we figured out the next move.

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I called the client and explained, I told her it was my fault for not looking more closely at the set up before recommending she allow the old hosting service to expire. All of the emails sent to that address between the 7th and 27th are completely gone. She was very gracious and received the news really well.

There are a few lessons we all learned here.

  1. Be accountable for your mistakes, it shows you are responsible. Parents, for example, understand the dilemma of an “unaccountable” child. Think about a glass of milk spilling onto the kitchen floor as you run in, and your child stands there all alone saying, “I didn’t do it.” Own up to it, and be prepared to admit to the mistake—people will respect you for it.
  2. Being honest and up front about your mistake shows you have integrity and that you’re relatable. It’s much easier to point fingers or not speak up when things go wrong than to boldly and honestly claim your errors. But, what kind of example does that set for your team? What happens when your client figures out that there’s a problem before you? Being proactive and [honestly] owning your errors makes it more likely to endear your customers and team to you even more. Plus everyone makes mistakes—we’re only human.
  3. Double, even triple-check how things are set up before making a change like this! We really should have thought more about the email and how it was set up.

I hope you enjoy it and I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. Please comment below or share it with your social circles or anyone else you think might find it useful.

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