Friday, December 25, 2015

Handling problem customers

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     Clients and customers are the heart and soul of your business. Each of them deserves your attention. 

     But not all of them are worth it. Now and then, you will run across a client or customer who is simply a pain. 

     Some seem to be late in paying their bills--every time. Others haggle with you on every price. Maybe they bad mouth you to your face or behind your back. 

     In short, some clients and customers are not worth the effort to keep them happy. It is their way of life to be unhappy, negative, and find fault with everything. And you can be the one in the cross-hairs. 

     When the situation gets out of hand, it is time for action. It might be useful to your well-being to refer problem customers to your competition--in a nice way, of course.

     Example: A customer returns again and again to a florist to complain that the flowers she bought. They always seemed to have promptly died. Once is understandable, but if a pattern develops, it's time to refer her to another florist.

     Example: A veterinarian helps a pet overcome an itching problem, but the owner is a know-it-all who insists after several visits that, although the pet is showing positive signs of recovering, the treatment should be changed to something learned on the Internet. The vet suggests that, if the problem occurs again, the owner might try instead the treatment suggested on the Internet.

     Example:  Painters of interior walls get involved in unreasonable complaints about the exact shade of paint on a wall. They might take this as a sign to change the focus of their business--referring fussy homeowners to other painters and then concentrating on corporate and commercial accounts.

     You get the idea. When you cannot satisfy a client or customer, it might be a sign to move on. Or move them on. 

     Always listen to your clients/customers. They give you valuable clues on the future of your business. That marketplace is always changing.  

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