10 worst ways to treat a customer – The final chapter
5 weeks have passed since we launched this delicate series and here we are, the final installment. It’s seriously shocking, I feel older already…no, no, no…wiser, I feel wiser. Before we move onto our last two items of the ’10 why would you do something like this if you want to sell’ list, I think it’s time for a short summary of previous articles.
10 worst ways to treat a customer – Part 1: This is where all started. I talked about the fatal effect of calling a customer’s idea unrealistic and the even more harmful communication method of referring the client back to your website. Both of them are big no-nos.
10 worst ways to treat a customer – Part 2: was the week of ‘impossible’. And by impossible, I mean the power of saying the word ‘impossible’ to a customer, a soon-to-be former customer who never turns back, to be more precise. There are always other ways to express limitations, for instance with a counteroffer. Very useful method and highly appreciated by clients.
10 worst ways to treat a customer – Part 3: Critiques can be dangerous and result loosing potential business if they are not phrased in a professional manner. And sadly, most of the time they are not. Belittling someone work or idea is a slippery slope on the way to be considered to be rude seller who no one wants to work with. The key here is: professional disagreement in a professional manner.
10 worst ways to treat a customer – Part 4: was all about the money. Everyone has a budget which may not set correctly due to lack of information. And sometimes, customers try to negotiate the price. Should you be upset about it? Absolutely not. Be honest, in a reverse situation you might do the same, so give the customer the benefit of the doubt and explain pricing in a civilized way.
After this not so short summary, let`s see what we have left on the list.
9. If a callback was promised, then call.
Nothing kills trust faster than a broken promise. And in the world of business, it can cost you your credibility, too. It’s a high price to pay when the only thing needs to be done is pick up the phone. I understand that you are busy or you have no update on the matter, but not calling makes me think 3 not too promising scenarios.
- You forget me.
That clearly shows that you are not well-organized, hence how can I trust you to deliver the product or service? The answer is I cannot.
- You don’t care about me and my project.
Sounds like a resentful girlfriend complaining, but if I give you my money, I want to know that you take care of my projects. It`s called a business relationship for a reason.
- You closed down and run away with my money.
Although it sounds extreme, but since such events are not unheard of, people tend to think of the worst case scenario. So do I.
In my opinion, it’s not worth to risk losing trust over a phone call, is it?
10. Don’t leave me hanging.
I send you an email asking updates, because I haven’t heard from you for days. No answer. Three days later, after checking if there was any technical issue on my side, I resend the email. Again, no answer. Worried and frustrated, I call you and everything turns out to be fine, just as there was nothing to report you decided not to tell me that. Wrong move.
Being through days of uncertainty has already poisoned the project. No matter how great or even exceptional the outcome is, I will never work with you again, because it was too stressful and I felt left in the dark. And I will definitely not recommend your services to anyone.
I am not saying that I have to be informed every single day about the status of the work, but if I ask for news, don’t deny it. It strengthens the trust and builds long-term relationship.
It was an emotional road, no doubt about that, but I hope, I was able to give you just a little bit of insight of how a customer can feel and why she or he feels that way. And more importantly, you could find some practical communication tips how to handle situations to avoid insulting each other and to gain a customer or even a loyal business partner.
Which topic was the most surprising to you? Share with us down below.