Your Customer is NOT Always Right

If you’ve been in business longer than 12 months you’ve encountered that customer that is just impossible to please.  They blame you for something you can’t control, didn’t read your contract completely or just want more than you can possibly give.  You are then faced with the problem that your customer is W-R-O-N-G.

There are few things you should try to remember when you find yourself in this situation.  You may want to make note of these with pen and paper or digitally.

Don’t wait.  These are not the type of situations that will get better with time.  Just the opposite is true.  Waiting makes them worse.  Call your customer.  Avoid email and texts.  Put your big boy pants on call your customer.

Control your emotions.  When was the last time getting mad, raising your voice and calling names actually accomplished anything?  Hear your customer out.  Make the effort to understand their side of the story.  That doesn’t mean you have to agree with it, just try to understand it.  Maybe there is something small you can do to resolve the situation that is painless from your viewpoint.  Maybe your customer just misread your email, contract, or text.  The solution to the problem might be simple.  Just listen.

Don’t burn your bridges.  During your discussions keep in mind that your customer came to you because they thought you were the most knowledgeable of the people they originally contacted.  It may well be that they just don’t understand what they are asking is just plain impossible to do.  To prove yourself correct and lose a good account doesn’t make much sense. It’s best to assume that your customer is not intentionally trying to be a jerk.  Be patient, offer alternatives if possible, you know more about your product/service than they do.  Demonstrate your brilliance.

Maybe it’s time… At some point you will encounter that customer that actually is a jerk.  You may have to suck it up and decide life is too short to deal with this.  Again, keep your cool, tell them there is nothing more you can do, remain professional and invite them to contact your competitor.  You win twice.  You relieve your headache and your competitor gets one.  It’s a win/win.

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