Whether you’re new to running a handmade business or you’re a seasoned craft business owner already, you’ll inevitably come across a tricky customer or two at some point.
And when you do, you might be wondering: what is the best way to deal with them?
In this post, we’ve put together some tips that may help you keep your cool in difficult situations with customers.
First of all though, it’s important to note that all customers are valuable. Tricky customers however, can be even more valuable to your business than regular, happy ones. Here’s why...
A tricky customer is one that isn’t pleased with you, your service or your products for some reason. If you don’t work extra hard at finding out what the problem is and then resolve it quickly, your tricky customer may decide to tarnish your reputation by telling others why they shouldn’t buy from you.
In today’s modern world, a simple post on Facebook can soon go viral and cause havoc to your business.
If you think about it, how often do you recommend a product or business to someone, if you’ve had a good experience? You might do, but unless the product or service you’ve received was truly amazing, you might also not give it a second thought.
On the other hand, if you’ve had a bad experience with a product or business, you might well be more inspired to complain to anyone who’ll listen so you can get some justice!
Statistics show that news of bad customer service reaches more than twice as many ears as praise for a good service experience. Therefore, it might not be pleasant but listening and respecting customers that have a complaint could be absolutely crucial to the success of your business.
If you have a tricky customer to deal with, follow these tips to smooth out the situation as soon as possible.
1. Hear the customer out and respond quickly
Whether your customer chooses to complain by email, phone or worse, contacts you publicly through social media, it’s imperative that you respond quickly. By that we mean 24 hours at the most, but if possible, respond straightaway.
By responding quickly, you’re showing your customer that you’re taking their complaint seriously and that their opinion matters to you. Tricky customers want to be heard, so even if you can’t deal with their complaint at that precise moment, send them a holding message to say that you’re investigating the problem and will respond shortly.
2. Watch your tone
When someone is complaining or picking fault with your beautiful handmade products, it’s understandable to feel annoyed (or downright outraged).
However, you should try to remain objective as you figure out the problem while being as respectful as possible. If you’re worried you might lose your temper with a customer, communicate by email instead.
That way, you can rewrite your thoughts if need be and you can check the tone of your email is professional and respectful before you send it.
3. Be fair to them and yourself too
The saying, “the customer is always right” isn’t necessarily true. Sometimes a customer complains because they just feel like complaining or even when they know that the fault isn’t yours. If you’ve investigated the customer’s problem and you believe that you delivered what was expected of you, then you should stick to your guns.
For example, if a customer is demanding a refund on a personalized item because the name is spelled incorrectly, providing you’ve spelled the name exactly as they submitted it, you shouldn’t feel under pressure to refund them. After all, if you do offer a refund, it’s going to eat into your profit.
However, when the fault does lie with you, apologize and do what you can to make it up to your customer. Handmade buyers are usually looking for special bespoke products, so it is disappointing for them when their product isn’t quite right.
One way of bringing a tricky customer back on side is to offer a refund plus a further discount off their next order. Give them an incentive to come back and order from you again. This might be costly, but customers do remember when you go the extra mile for them and doing something like this might turn their negative experience into a positive one.
Providing you’re professional and deal with your tricky customers quickly and efficiently, your brand and reputation should remain intact. Showing your customer that you’re only human will also go a long way in gaining their respect and trust again too.
We hope you found this latest post in our craft business tips series helpful. For more posts like this click here!
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*Images courtesy of Pixabay with text overlay added.