The One I Regret

In four years of business there have been five incidents with clients where the client never came back to us.
Of those five, four of them I am quite happy to never see again as I feel I was more then fair to them and some people are just beyond reason, however this story is the one in which I wish I had acted differently.
yellingThe client was a good friend of mine and the incident damaged the relationship for a good twelve months. In fact even twelve months on it’s only just repairing now.
So what went down? New Years Eve the client leaves the car with me for a last minute registration inspection and in my opinion the car needed one tyre to pass the inspection. There were a few options open to the client here and my first mistake was not explaining this to the client. This particular client sourced tyres from a shop nearby that did a very competitive deal and I was aware of this. None of this so far was an issue for me.
The conflict arose when the clients wife rang to find out what the story was. The clients wife and I were from the same network of friends and we were both aware that our personalities clashed. In this particular instance we clashed hard and we both got angry. What could have been a simple dialog in which we arranged for me to get the cheaper tyre for her or fit the spare or any of many other options became a heated argument.
tyreI don’t regret telling my friends they needed a tyre but regret my reaction when we had the conversation about it. Regardless the heated conversation was enough to lose the client and damage the relationship. I wish I had just stayed calm and had the foresight to explain the options before losing my temper.
To make matters worse they took the car to a competitor who passed the car without changing the tyre, this made me look unfair on the inspection which I don’t believe I was.
Years on the relationship has started to mend, admittedly this started at a mutual friends party whilst we were all rather intoxicated.
It’s a catch 22, don’t do business with friends or family because you may damage those relationships, but at the same time you need those people to support you as you build up your business.

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