It is common for big problems to be linked to big errors. Often though the big problem developed from small errors that grew over time. Are small errors worth fixing, or should they be ignored?
It often feels natural to skip over the little mistake. Many believe it is perfectly fine to procrastinate about the task at hand, brush it off, and save it for later.
Habits are formed this way. The habit may be to shrug and walk away. Place the blame on other circumstances or situations. Ask who was the last person who touched it and suggest that the starting point exists somewhere else. After all, you’re too busy.
We were late because of traffic.
The guy on the corner gave us bad directions.
The signage is simply not adequate on this road.
If you are lost, do you keep driving hoping to pop out at the right place?
Certainly, this may work if you’re close. As in, close to having the right directions, but if you are traveling North when you should be going South, good luck. Your problems are compounding with every mile.
Most of the time our wrong turns, bad choices, and faulty data are not because of an isolated incident. They are the result of compounded issues that grow with each successive twist or turn. They grow bigger and get faster. Worse yet, they get further away and harder to come back to.
The result is a bigger problem.
A messy customer experience doesn’t get better when you wait. Often the issue festers. While it festers the same experience can be inappropriately duplicated.
The problem grows over time. More people affected, more costs eroded, and a brand that sours.
It seems likely that sometimes the best way to deal with big problems is to deal with them when they are small errors. Casting blame, looking away, or denial of an issue doesn’t let anything slip away except more time and money.
Next time there is a small error consider fixing it before it grows into a big problem. It is the right kind of habit.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.