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The Customer is Always Right...Except When They're Not

Everyone knows THAT guy. Sometimes that person is your friend, a family member, or someone else you tolerate unconditionally, and you have probably developed strategies to deal with them or you totally disengage from them, as needed. But, when that person is a customer, what do you do? You most likely want their business and you definitely want everyone to love your product or service, so you have to please all of the people who have exchanged their money for what you are offering, without question. Right? 

Wrong.

The hard truth is that you will never please everyone, not even on your best day. Generally, customer complaints and issues can serve as valuable feedback, possibly even identifying potential improvements for your product or service. And, many times, customers convey their issues in a relatively reasonable manner and you are able to assist them by providing great solutions. But, there are people who escalate their complaints into full blown situations, addressing you or staff with hostility and perhaps even with some salty words. When it becomes evident that a customer is looking for an argument and not a solution, it is best not to engage them any further. Provide them with a replacement item, if feasible, or a refund, especially if they had purchased a service, and firmly send them on their way. Also remember, there are absolutely no circumstances under which you or your staff should tolerate verbal abuse.

Because follow up service is so important, if you do it well, many people are more likely to view you favourably, despite having had an issue. However, when you realize there is no way forward with a completely unreasonable customer, shut it down quickly. There is likely no relationship to be redeemed and no good will to nurture. Instead, take the energy you would have spent on that individual and positively channel it into yourself, your employees, and your business.

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