In a business service relationship, issues (sometimes referred to as problems) arise frequently. That's the nature of what happens when service meets people. There's a natural human tendency to become defensive in such situations; it's easy to fall into the trap of making excuses as the service provider. When excuses are given, however, you suddenly turn one issue into two; you now have the original issue to resolve, plus a question from the affected party regarding your commitment or ability to resolve it. The very words “Its not my fault” convey an abdication of responsibly for what happened and, by inference, suggest the resolution might also be “not my job”. It's a perilous spiral.
To acknowledge the issue and take ownership for resolving it is the hallmark of a service professional in any industry. This is where explanations come into play. There's a fine line here, because the client may not want an explanation regarding “how” the issue arose; they may not even care. Their desire may be simply for the issue to go away, so they can concentrate on their other priorities. Depending upon the seriousness of the situation, it is often better to simply say “I'll take care of it for you” and then go do so.
There are complex situations, however, that can cause small issues to accumulate and become bigger problems. That's when a carefully worded explanation can make all the difference. Done well, you provide context for the issue along with your commitment to resolve it. This can be important for preventing future issues from arising, since there are often aspects that only the client can handle from their side. This is where you have the opportunity to become a “Trusted Advisor” for the client; you're using your knowledge to both handle a current situation and help the client improve their future state.
A long-time client, who I've known and respected in multiple roles through the years, recently said: “I don't want excuses. I want solutions.” That's very straightforward advice worth taking. Try eliminating excuses from your vocabulary and replacing them with thoughtful explanations. Both you and your client will benefit and you'll both Enjoy the Journey more!