Have you ever been caught for a loss of words? We all have and typically it is an embarrassing position to be in. Personally, it can happen, but it should never happen in your business.
One of the keys to sustaining and building your business is to be prepared for events before they occur. Like having the right kind and amount of business insurance to cover a loss when it happens. Such as when a fire occurs that interrupts your ability to serve your customers and you have the needed fire insurance, business interruption insurance; and if the damage is sever enough you have a disaster recovery plan and the resources to take care of the customer until the damage is repaired.
I believe that you can prepare for many if not most situations when your business needs to be able to respond in a timely way with the correct answer. The worst thing that can happen to you and the business in this situation is that you get “tongue tied” and you cannot or do not respond in a timely manner or if you do respond it is the wrong answer.
The key is to prepare and develop a process to respond. For example, every business should be prepared to respond when a customer complains about your product/service. A customer service process should be in place that provides for every complaint to be responded to and resolved within 24 hours (in most cases) if not immediately.
A warning here – the process should not rely on one person(s). If the person(s) assigned responsibility to respond is unavailable or they are backed-up, then the process should default to additional people. There is really no excuse to sit on a complaint.
The same general process can be applied to many other areas of your business. Take for example a simple “Request for Time Off”. Does your company process train management to respond to these type of request with due haste or does management just leave these in their in-box until they have a few minutes to look them over. Your employees deserve better and let’s face it this is not a hard thing to do – respond to people when they have a question (such as a Request for Time Off) or a concern (customer complaint); why does your company have to wait?