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Difficult customers

Discussion in 'Sales, Marketing and PR' started by remnant, Mar 11, 2016.

  1. remnant

    remnant Entrepreneur

    Many entrepreneurs in the course of their duties encounter difficult customers. Some are rude; others want to use items first before paying; still others offer untenable prices or refuse to pay for services offered. I remember delivering paint to a customer. Despite repeated exhortations, he refused to pay. Have you dealt with a difficult customer?

  2. CoolSpot

    CoolSpot Entrepreneur

    I have done customer service for a lot of big companies, so dealing with "difficult customers" was the job role. Personal experience, a difficult customer is a customer that is not happy with the service that has been provided and dosnt feel it is worth what is charged or feels that the company they are speaking to is not understanding their issues.

    Think through your own experiences as a customer, when you have had issues with support or services, if it takes multiple interactions to have then your are going to eventually get frustrated with having to explain the issue over and over again and eventually you will stop believing that it is going to get sorted out, it may even jade the way you see the support offered on a whole. This is the point where a customer will normally become a "difficult customer".

    In regards to your customer refusing to pay, did you ask him why he refused to pay? what was his response?
    If you delivered the wrong paint or the delivery was late, I would also refuse to pay a full charge as I would deem the service received as unsatisfactory.

    So basically what I'm saying is there is no "difficult customer" it's just a customer that for some reason or another feels the business has failed them.
  3. ReadmeByAmy

    ReadmeByAmy Entrepreneur

    The business slogan "The customer is always right" gives emphasis that it should always give priority to the needs and satisfaction of its customers. But in as much as businesses wants to adopt this policy sometimes it is hard to make the customers understand what it means for them to be always right. I had worked before in two companies and had a business also before and and in my own experiences you will really encountered different type of customers. Some are easy to deal with while others are difficult to deal with. It is not always that you will encounter difficult customers. That is why you can make preparations ahead of time what will you do if it happen. So I think the best thing to do is for businesses to give their best regarding customer service and satisfaction in order to avoid inconveniences and difficulties to each other.
  4. Corazon

    Corazon Entrepreneur

    I have encountered a difficult customer when I was selling clothing items (that was before I started on a formal business of boutique). A rich matron who is a friend of my mother's, she would check on my goods. She would be fitting almost all the blouses and skirts that I brought in their house. And often, she would find a flaw in my products - not good color combination, a flaw in design and some other issues. In short, she appears to be a perfectionist. For customers like that, I think she is best to just buy her own clothing material and just go to the dressmaker.
  5. Goldstandard89

    Goldstandard89 Entrepreneur

    Yes, I once had an author who wanted me to illustrate her book. She had me do preliminary sketches for her whole book without paying anything. Then she wanted to pay only a hundred dollars for thirty-six illustrated pages, the cover front and back, and the title page. After I gave her what it would actually cost to pay for the higher quality watercolor paper needed to create the illustrations and the time. She told me she didn't want it and went with another illustrator. I heard that illustrator was with her for a couple months before quitting.

    I refuse to work with people before they sign an agreement and pay me half for my time. I don't work for free and I don't think it is fair for anybody to expect anything for free. It's important to find out what they can actually pay and then see what you can do for them. If you can't find a middle ground that would satisfy the customer, then just walk away. Part of being a good business person is the ability to walk away from a bad deal.
    CoolSpot likes this.
  6. Villiam

    Villiam Entrepreneur

    I used to sell on Ebay (terrible idea), and customers would often try to charge back or get refunds for no reason. It was a long, painful process that usually ended up in me losing money. You need to be transparent when dealing with situations like this
  7. briannagodess

    briannagodess Entrepreneur

    I have had experiences dealing with difficult customers ever since I started my own online shop. The best way to deal with such customers is to be neutral and firm. Don't give in to their petty and inconsiderate requests. If they are rude, it's especially annoying but don't stoop down to their level. Always, always be a professional. And as much as you can, hear out their side first before reacting. After all, business is business and although the customer isn't always right, in their mind, they are.

    One bad review can lead to your business's downfall. Okay, I'm exaggerating that one, lol. But you know, it hurts to have even one bad review. But if that review is constructive, I'm fine with it. The reviews that attack me personally, are the ones that I don't like. And if a customer ends up not getting his or her way, they're bound to leave negative reviews.

    I try to be as reasonable as possible with difficult customers. If they want to return the product, then so be it. If they're not satisfied, then so be it. But if their actions are without reason, then it's time to put some balance and defend my business as well.
  8. Alaine

    Alaine Entrepreneur

    I've had to deal with many difficult customers both as an employee and as a business owner. As an employee even if a customer was rude save for getting management to get involved, there's little else that could be done since the "customer is always right."

    When I owned a business difficult customers were the sort of customers I didn't need. Running the business was hard enough and I didn't want anything else to aggravate me. That's why always, after one nasty interaction with such customers next time they wanted to buy something I would turn them away. Most who returned afterwards were less unpleasant.
  9. Jack Benoit

    Jack Benoit Entrepreneur

    Yоu run а businеss, nоt а сhаrity. Yоu саn’t аffоrd tо givе аwаy sеrviсеs оr bеnd tо еvеry whim оf еvеry сliеnt whеn it’s nоt gоing tо gеnеrаtе а rеturn fоr thе businеss. Аnd thе сliеnt shоuld gеnеrаtе а rеturn, nоt just fоr оnе prоjесt оr оnе mоnth, but оvеr thе lоng hаul tо mаkе it wоrth yоur whilе.

    Yоu dо, оf соursе, hаvе tо bе саrеful оf thе risk tо yоur rеputаtiоn whеn yоu lеt а сliеnt gо--аlthоugh, in sоmе саsеs, оthеrs thаt knоw thе pеrsоn might rеspесt yоu еvеn mоrе. Yоu just hаvе tо bе surе yоur rеаsоning is sоund. Аs diffiсult аs it might bе tо lеt gо оf businеss, if а сliеnt is соsting yоu mоnеy, sоmеtimеs it’s bеst tо сut tiеs аnd hаvе thеm find а bеttеr fit.
  10. jona

    jona Entrepreneur

    People that work in retail always have a couple of horror stories with terrible customers, so even if people are horribly in person to person relationships imagine how they are going to act once they feel protected by the apparent anonymous nature of online communications. I am more than sure that this individual will never enter a shop, grab a painting and leave without paying but he feels like he can get away with that because he doesn't need to face you in person.

    Worse than horrible customers are horrible clients, people for which you provide a service from time to time that become such a nuisance that end up costing you more money that they money they are bringing. This is something that a new entrepreneur should know: some clients and customers are toxic and not worth it, really, you are better off with no sales than with sales that end up costing you money.

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