Our society functions under the mantra: the customer is always right. This is a notion that has been fed to us since we entered the work force. No matter what, make sure the customer leaves happy.
Small businesses and startups rely heavily on word of mouth to find loyal customers and advocates for their businesses. Your customer can be your greatest ally. If you can give them a great customer service experience, you have a fan for life. At this point, you know how to treat customers. Be kind and courteous. Address their issues in a timely fashion. Make sure you listen to their concerns and discuss things with them to make sure you both understand each other.
So, what happens if you can’t make a customer happy?
There are people out there who want to test how far that can go without holding up their end of the deal of being a customer. While you should never assume someone’s trying to scam you, some customers might be testing the waters.
In this case, you want to work closely with your employees and customer service staff. Don’t automatically assume they did something wrong. Customers can abuse products and policies, demand unreasonable resolutions, or verbally abuse your staff. When you step in, make sure the customer knows the buck stops with you.
Don’t belittle your team or employees. Trust that they did all that they could to give the customer what they asked for.
When things start to get hairy, you should start collecting the records of your interactions. If you have a paper trail of evidence that shows this customer has made a habit of being a bad customer, everyone on staff can be appraised of the situation. In the future, don’t work with this customer.
While you might lose one business opportunity, you will show your support for your team.
If you want to learn more about dealing with no-pay customers, check out Business Beware.