You are the general manager of XYZ Sign Co., which has been contracted by a local business,…
You are the general manager of XYZ Sign Co., which has been contracted by a local business, Paradise Motors, to rebrand the business’s logo and change out its parking lot pole sign and storefront sign. XYZ sign installers were to perform the changes for Paradise Motors’ two signs on a Saturday. They had gotten as far as replacing the pole sign when Paradise Motors’ owner Earl Walker noticed that the new sign included a red logo, which had been considered during the design process, but had been changed to a blue logo prior to Walker’s approval. (XYZ’s production team had used a file named “Paradise Motors logo” when creating the signs.) Walker pointed out the wrong logo color to the installers, who were unaware of the problem, but agreed to stop their work while Walker contacted you with two texts. His claim to XYZ follows here:
Please get in touch right away. Your installers have put up a sign out front with a red logo and had another for the front. See photos.
I told your installers to stop. I need to know right away what you’re going to do to get this right before I open for business on Monday.
(In a realistic situation, you would call this client right away and explain how and when you would address the situation. Sometimes a call like this would be followed up with something in writing. In our scenario, you can assume such a call has been made and you are following up.)
Write a three-paragraph adjustment grant to Earl Walker in the form of an email. You will have to choose the subject line. Follow the plan as described in the text:
- Begin directly with the good news – that you will have everything corrected in time for Paradise Motors’ opening on Monday morning. (This means XYZ will install the correct signs on Sunday, or “tomorrow” in this scenario.) Refer to the problem only incidentally and avoid negative language that further emphasizes it.
- Regain lost confidence by explaining what happened and the corrective action you will take (addressing both how the mistake was made and how XYZ is going to avoid this kind of mistake in the future, as well as how XYZ will make this up to Paradise Motors). The explanation should be brief (referencing the file name). The corrective action for avoiding this mistake in the future should be something simple, relating to the names of files the company will use for production in the future. The “make good” to Paradise Motors should be significant (a discount or service) but not too great a giveaway. Any discount should relate to the current job and not one in the future.
- End with a friendly, positive comment that helps win back Walker’s confidence, so that XYZ Sign will be strongly considered for future signage and graphics needs he may have. However, do not attempt to make another or additional sale to Paradise Motors at this time, focusing instead on getting this right.