Handling Impossible Customers
There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t hear another small business owners complaining about some of the customers they have to do business with. And some of them REALLY are legitimate complaints. But after listening to 100’s of different complaints, I have found the root of most of them is a lack of understanding. Therefore, I hope the following gets you on the road of addressing complaints and customer problems in your small home business.
The first step is to get past the irritation. It’s only human nature to get a little upset when a customer writes to complain about something totally stupid. Complaints like: It’s been two whole weeks and I haven’t seen my ad in your paper yet. Or, how about those really stupid ones, like: Send me more info. (no name and address provided.) Then, the guy writes you the next week and calls you a crook because you didn’t answer his request right away. It’s obvious that there is a breakdown of communication.
But let’s look at the last complaint explained above and analyze it for better understanding. For some reason, the guy was so excited about your company that he forgot to enclose his name and address. He knew his name and address and never thought about the fact that you probably didn’t know it. Instead he was excited and wanted to get his request in the mail right away so he could find out more. So his complaint to you would actually be a compliment.
Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about this problem since you have no name, address or telephone number to respond to. However, if the guy writes back and is upset with you (and includes his name and address), simply write a quick note that says: Thank you for requesting more information about our company. We apologize that your first request was not filled, however, you neglected to provide us with your name and address. We suggest that you always place your name and address on the outside of every envelope you mail. It’s provides many rewards for you as well as getting your orders processed faster. (To go a step further, if you sell printing, suggest that he order 1,000 pre-printed envelopes from you. And because of the delay in processing his request, you’ll give him $5 off. This will win him over.)
Now let’s try and understand the education you provided to this customer. I know, it’s human nature to want to strike back because this idiot hurt your feelings. But the only way you are going to advance in business and present the professional image you should be hoping to achieve, is to educate and help this person. They, in turn will probably never make this mistake again and will probably relate the information to others they come into contact with. However, if you are hateful or never fill the request you will have gained nothing except the self-satisfaction of revenge.
Training and educating people is not really very hard at all.
Good customer service and marketing go hand in hand. They both depend on each other and work together for your business survival. There should never be a moment when you shout back at a customer. Hanging up the phone is a much better approach and achieves the revenge you may seek in a more POSITIVE manner.