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Pleasing the Difficult to Please

By December 3, 2012February 28th, 2023Blog

You aren’t a business owner until you’ve had someone complain about what you do for them. Who among us hasn’t received an email in all caps with too much punctuation? Other than just being frustrating, these kinds of customers cost you time, stress, and revenue. However, there is a right way to satisfy your irate customers, and it won’t take a ton of effort.

Identify Difficult Customers Immediately

If you’ve been in business for a while, you should know how to recognize the signs of a difficult customer from miles away. If you here words like “slow,” or “glitch,” you might have a problem on your hands. As soon as you figure it out, listen closely to their issue, and watch out for an increase in the customer’s voice volume or a sudden snippy tone. Often, these are signs emotions are running high.

Be Patient, but Get on with It

You won’t be winning any new customers over – or keeping any of your old ones – if you don’t respond as fast as you possibly can. Customers just love knowing when someone’s paying attention to them, especially ones that may be more impatient. Difficult customers always appreciate near-instant responses, so make sure you hand them out regularly.

When You Can, Talk on the Phone

People say things over email that they would not otherwise say. If you can’t feasibly speak to someone face-to-face, try calling them. If you can’t call them, Skype them. Avoid emailing them. If you want to defuse a situation, it’s much more effective to be heard by an irate customer. Nothing will matter more to an upset customer than a human, understanding tone.

Be Truthful

If something is your fault – and sometimes when it isn’t – there’s no reason you shouldn’t fess up and attempt to make it better. If your site is broken, it’s okay – but you need to say so. Even if this only ticks off your customer more, remain calm and tell them that you’ll help them with their problem as fast as you possibly can. Usually, transparency will calm a customer down since they know you’re not trying to hide your mistake from them.

Chris Forte

Chris Forte, President and CEO of Olmec Systems, has been in the MSP workspace for the past 25 years. Chris earned his Master’s Degree from West Virginia University, graduating Magna Cum Laude. He was a past member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, a current member of the New Jersey Power Partners and Executive Association of New Jersey, where he has previously served on its board of directors. In his spare time, Chris enjoys traveling with his family. He also admits to being a struggling golfer and avid watcher of college football and basketball. He currently lives in Boonton Township, NJ with his wife, two daughters, son, and black lab Luna.