We make mistakes quite often. We're not proud of them, but they do happen. We don't promise perfection, but we do promise that we'll provide better customer service than any other cleaning company in the world. There's a bunch of reasons that we claim to be the most customer friendly housecleaning company in the world.
Some say it's because we have a pay for performance plan. Some say it's because we have great customer service systems in place. But I think that the real reason is because we hold ourselves accountable. We take the blame when something goes wrong. We take the blame because it's our fault. Some of our customers decide to leave our service once a mistake occurs. However, the vast majority recognize that we're different.
The norm is to not take responsibility. Remember Enron. Remember the band Great White. People aren't used to other people taking the blame for something.
The great Seth Godin writes about taking the blame today in his blog. I'm not sure where he's going with the last part of his article, but his account of terrible customer service with a chocolate company proves the point.
Most people will accept mistakes as long you accept responsibility for the mistake.