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A Sensible Guide To Dealing With Frustrating Customers

As most of us go through life as customers, it’s very easy to look from that vantage point and consider the difficulties businesses can cause us. When a company fails to hold up its end of the bargain, or worse, contract, we’re within our rights to complain and even become compensated.

But as companies can sometimes irritate us thanks to the sheer bureaucracy or lack of delivery in play, sometimes, those businesses can find us irritating too. Now, they’d never vocalize that of course (it would be a terrible look), but they do plan for it.

For example, what should a business do to prevent new customers from abusing a free trial? They might have a system in place for this, or perhaps they only do it after seeing just how many fake accounts were created over a year. Then the decision could be made to tie accounts to phone numbers, limiting the amount one person can afford to have.

This is just one example. If you run a modest business, you may wish to consider how to deal with such customers, and how to differentiate those who are inconvenient (this isn’t the same thing). Consider this:

A Conscientious Complaints Approach

Not all customer complaints are equal. Yes, some will raise genuine issues, while others could just stem from a person’s bad day. Your business can benefit from categorizing and prioritizing these grievances appropriately. Staff training can help them better understand the difference between valid concerns and venting their microscopic annoyances. 

Even minor complaints might reveal larger problems within the company, after all. However, it’s also important to know when to reject a complaint. If a customer has complained about an issue you’ve routinely fixed, or they seem to be more focused on compensation than fixing the issue, you’re well within your rights to withdraw service and return payment.

Managing & Handling Cash Flow With Unpaid Invoices

No one likes receiving an invoice, but they have to be paid. Small enterprises feel this pain more than anyone else if they fail to come through, as their cash flow tends to be more limited. Balancing good customer relationships with financial stability is tricky, but must be done. A clear, fair policy on payment terms helps and allows you to set up your invoice flow appropriately. 

Moreover, it’s important to be consistent in terms of how you enforce payment. Some businesses find success in offering early payment discounts. Others rely on automated reminders for overdue payments. In difficult cases, you might outsource invoice collection to professional services to give you more time to work on your daily productivity. It all makes a difference.

Refusing Service, Rejecting Conduct

Now and again, a business must make the tough call to refuse service or reject certain behaviors. It’s never an easy decision, but having clear policies outlining unacceptable conduct can at least help you be indiscriminate. These might cover abusive language, repeated non-payment, or consistent violations of service terms too. It all counts.

Sure, refusing service should be a last resort, only after exhausting other options. But depending on the business, such as an addiction recovery service, this might be baked-in to the agreed conduct terms before you take on a client.

With this advice, you’ll be certain to cover those bases despite frustrating customers.

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