Tricky Customers & How They Can Harm Your Business
When you first get your business off the ground, it can be hard to think of your customers as anything but wonderful. They are the life force of your business. They take chances on you, and you deliver for them time and time again. Maybe they buy your products or they hire your services, and every time they do you are overcome with gratitude. As time passes and your business becomes more and more established, you might realize that customers aren’t always a benefit. In fact, they can be downright troublesome and tricky. That can come to the point, where they are more hassle than they are worth. The people you rely on for the health of your business potentially pose the greatest threat. So, you have to learn how to manage a variety of situations, all of which will strangely make you wish they’d never been a customer in the first place.
So, what can customers do that can make life difficult for your company?
#1 – Trash Your Reputation Online
There are some customers who are just, well… they’re unreasonable. They’re out-and-out unreasonable; they expect too much and then when it’s not delivered, they throw their toys out of the pram and start screaming. Except they don’t just scream; they also take to their keyboard in a fit of rage. If you encounter one of these customers, you can find your entire reputation trashed in a heartbeat.
You will be insulted on social media; on forums; even your own website can find itself under attack in the comments. Some customers even go so far as to sign up to review you on business-oriented sites. Most annoyingly, even if you rectify their problem… your reputation is still going to have taken a hammering. They can remove the posts or you can manage the situation with online advice, but you can’t snap the memories out of people’s minds.
There’s nothing you can do about these customers, save for setting up a variety of Google Alerts about your company so you can be informed of their activities as soon as possible. The sooner you know, the sooner you can snub it out.
#2 – Cost You More Than They Paid
Every business should take a time to try and solve the problems that their customer has, but there has got to be a line. Otherwise, you can find yourself spending more time fixing their issues than is healthy.
For example, if you sell a product, then you have to provide an after-sales service. If, however, there are still issues when you have processed a refund or replacement, then you’re getting into choppy waters. At this point, you are going to be at risk of spending more to make the problem go away than you made in profit from the sale.
This is why you should always deal with issues promptly. But, ensure they include mention of this being a “full and final offer”. If the customer accepts, then that ends the issues – they can’t keep coming back demanding more. Some customers do try and push it, so be wary and always ensure they know you won’t just keep helping for free forever.