— blending the mix

The customer is always right – unless they’re wrong!

  Seth Godin writes a great anecdote about how one of his previous compay’s fired their biggest customer with only 6 weeks of payroll left in the bank – and survived!

He also goes on to talk about how a bad customer will bad mouth you no matter what you do to help them.

Granted, some customers are real pains in the ass but as long as you do everything you can to ensure they have nothing to complain about then the transaction may be uncomfortable but otherwise satisfactory.
Conversely, those customers that try to take advantage of you are bad news from the start (return used goods after 3 months for example or in one of our cases, claim lost parts after 3 months!)

So how do you deal with them? Seth’s advice is to be polite and decline to do business with them. Whatever happens, they are likely to bad-mouth you so what else have you lost? If you have no trading record with them, what justification or evidence do they have of impropriety?

As long as you are polite and do not rise to their baiting then they have nowhere to go.

Say someone comes to you saying that your competitor can do the same product $200 cheaper than you – so be it. If you are talking more or less the same product or field of business, you should know that the $200 the customer is quoting is rubbish.

Equally if a customer tries to claim a return long past its return date, quoting Company X as having a return period twice as long as you,  let them return the branded item to them or ask the customer why they think Company X NEEDS such a long return period.

I often find when trying to get battered down on price or service that turning the query round on the customer makes them question their own reasons for bringing it up.

After all, if they wanted to get the item at the cheaper price with the longer service from somewhere else, why have they come to you?!

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