Sometimes, customers can be very difficult to deal with. In contrast to us, they are not obliged to respect, be nice or polite to us and what’s even more troublesome, they know it.
Companies must be very careful how they treat their customers, then a company depends on customers and not the other way around. So what do you do when a customer is being extremely rude?
Nerves Of Steel
It’s not easy to stay calm when someone’s shouting at you and threatening you with a cancellation, even though you know you are right. Try to stay cool and never take what a customer tells you personally. What they say about you and your company is not the ultimate truth but only their personal point of view.
At our startup ipaster (A platform for booking cleaning professionals online, right now only available in Switzerland) we experience this everyday. What one client might not like, another one loves. This doesn’t mean you have to ignore the customer, it just means you can’t let the attack hit you emotionally.
Take the feedback seriously and try to see it from the customer’s point of view. Maybe then you’ll get to the same conclusion. In the end, it’s up to you to consider the circumstances you are in. For example, if 90% of your customer aren’t happy with your service because your employees work too inaccurate, you’ll have to consider changing the work ethics of your employees otherwise you’ll lose a big part of your clients. At the end of the day, it’s the customer that must be happy after disagreements or perhaps other problems and not you.
The Right Perspective
Most entrepreneurs I know are masters at staying calm and not letting their difficult customers hit them emotionally. But most of the time they forget something very important. It’s true that a business owner needs to keep an eye on his finances, but when arguing with a client, in most cases it’s most likely better to give in and give your client a discount.
The majority of sales people are too focused on short term money when arguing with they customers and this behavior may prove itself to be lethal for their companies.
It’s expensive losing money to a customer who is wrong, but it’s even more expensive to lose a customer forever. The next time you argue with a customer, the first thing you should do, is to think about his lifetime value (the prediction of the net profit attributed to the entire future relationship with a customer). Is he a customer that already generates a certain amount of revenue? Does the customer have potential to become a top customer (a customer that generates a lot of revenue)? If the answer to those questions is yes, then you might understand now why it’s so important to think about long term money. Let’s say your customer has a lifetime value of $20 Mio. and you let him go over $50,000, it would be a huge loss for your company.