We once had this customer who was … well … lets be a little polite here … not the easiest to deal with.
She would continually complain, expect free products, complain more, haggle with prices and generally upset any of my staff she spoke to.
LOCKS LASH COMPANY POLICY
At Locks Lash we have a company policy to take all complaints and see what WE did to create the situation and handle and improve that accordingly.
We have a company policy to listen to the complaint, to observe and understand the viewpoint of the customer and act accordingly.
The customer isn’t always right, but also neither is the business. It often takes two to tango and if one side takes full responsibility, without emotion, for any part they may have contributed to the situation, then the situation usually defuses rather rapidly.
By applying the above, most complaints come in and leave happy.
HOWEVER, this one particular customer … I even had staff in tears after speaking to her! Nothing we could do seemed to handle any situation she presented.
I was continually worried about the repercussions she may create in the public. We live in a social media world and one little remark from a dissatisfied customer can go a long way and seep into many peoples feeds.
But truthfully, it was my staff and the effect she had on them, that concerned me the most.
So I fired this customer.
HOW I FIRED THIS CUSTOMER
I didn’t want to create a big situation and tell her she was being fired (although I was very tempted). Instead, I needed to do it in such a way as she left happy and wouldn’t have any cause to publicly criticise us. I needed a way in which she wouldn’t notice we were firing her, and a way in which she thought it was HER decision to no longer purchase from us.
So we started a campaign on sending her subtle emails (and phone calls) telling her all about our competition, how good our competitions products and customer service was. We casually mentioned specials our competition was having and how we were out of stock of certain things but she could instead purchase them from our competition.
And …. It worked a treat! It didn’t take long with only a few casual emails and phone calls and she left without a fuss, disappeared from our lives, never to be seen or heard from again!
NEW POLICY: WE DON'T HAVE TO HAVE EVERY CUSTOMER
We have since developed a firm policy that we don’t HAVE to have each customer that walks in our door. Our sanity, vibe, happiness and general staff well being is of far greater importance than money. For that one “special” customer, there are 999 potential beautiful customers. We instead spend our energy on finding those 999 beautiful people to have them in our lives instead of spending time continually dealing with that one “special” customer.
- Listen to the complaint(s) or demands and see what YOU can do to take full responsibility for the situation and handle accordingly.
- If no resolve, after a few attempts, then realise that you don’t need this “special” customer in your life and there are many, many more beautiful ones you can have instead.
- Remove any emotion and act intelligently with a plan.
- Formulate how you can subtly inform your client of your competition and without doing it directly, encourage them that they would be very well suited with your competition. Sometimes you can be a little more direct and simply tell them you don't think you are the right technician for them.
- It may take a couple (or a few) times of this, but it will work eventually.
- Live happily ever after.