Dealing with bad customers presents a myriad of challenges for business owners. On the one hand, "the customer is always right," as the old adage goes. On the other hand, adjusting your business strategy or sales approach based on one customer rarely generates the desired result. Instead, your business might flounder if you try to impress every single client. To find the right balance between persistence and pleasing customers, use the following simple keys.
Before you ever open shop, you need to work to identify your target market and create a thorough marketing strategy. While occasional adjustments and amendments alter the overall scope of your business plan, the fundamental aspects of this strategy should serve as the long term vision of your organization. Without a strong understanding of what you want to accomplish, several obstacles block your path to professional success.
Once you have firm guidelines in place, you and your staff need to work to implement these policies in practical application. Embrace the learning curve and understand that pleasing every customer is not a practical goal. Instead, you need to appease bad customers and provide solutions that answer their problems in a mutually beneficial manner. Bad customers are inevitable, but poor customer service doesn't have to be part of the equation.
Relying on customer feedback to improve the overall experience you provide to clients helps improve the efficiency of your team, but this is a poor strategy for growing your business. Rather than hoping bad customers stay far away, work to recruit good customers through extensive marketing efforts and aggressive sales tactics. Don't make rules and policies that penalize bad customers, but rather foster a business environment that encourages great customers to come back time and again.
Finally, remember that one customer's experience is only indicative of that particular interaction. A wide assortment of factors impacts the overall satisfaction of your customers, and many times, your team and company aren't at fault. While negative customer feedback often proves disheartening, sometimes you encounter bad customers that look for opportunities to complain. Be proactive and reflect upon ways to improve your business approach, but ultimately, keep a global perspective. If you feel your sales and marketing strategies represent your company's vision effectively, don't try to change them to make one customer happy.
Handling negative customer experiences serves as a key learning opportunity for your staff. While a barrage of complaints hurts in the short term, remember that a few bad customers are not reflective of your company. Bad apples fall from every tree, and the sooner you realize this, the better your approach towards negative customers becomes. By avoiding the temptation to change your whole business model for one client, you preserve the integrity of your company.
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