If you are in the service industry, the standard modus operandi is that “the customer is always right.” But truth be told, is the customer ALWAYS right? Sooner than later, you are going to get a client or customer with an unpleasable agenda and no matter how much you bend over backwards until you’re blue in the face or jump through hoops like a circus clown, it will not be enough to make them happy.
If It’s not a Match, It will only Get Worse
I know the topic of this post is probably a bit EDGY, but for those of you who know me , this wouldn’t be the first. Here is my advice: If you have even the slightest inkling that a client is going to turn into an unsatisfiable Freddy Kreuger Nightmare on Elm Street Super Freak, DON’T take them on. It’s not worth it! And if by chance you do get hoodwinked into a situation with an unpleasable, cut your losses right away by releasing them from their contract.
Trust me, if it’s not a match, it’s never going to be a match and it will only get worse. You will be saved from a boat load of aggravation and problems down the road by removing them from your life as quickly as possible.
We Understand Where Our Bread is Buttered
Yes, I know this post could also be easily be misconstrued as an excuse for negligent customer service and trying to cover our you know what, but it is not. Not to boast, well maybe just a little, but GFN has a pretty good reputation for great customer service. Why? – because we give, give, give, give, give, give give and give again to our clients.
We have a referral based business model and clients of GFN become part of our family of friends and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Believe me, we understand where our bread is buttered and are extremely grateful for the many referrals we get.
The Unspoken Threat of Reputation Damage
If you depend on your reputation and online presence like we do, the last thing you want is to have someone spreading ill-will all over the Internet or gossip talk about you and that “threat” is exactly the psychological leverage an unpleasable will try and wave over your head if you don’t cater to their every whim.
No matter how demanding, left field and out of line an unpleasable might be, what you do for them will never be enough and in the end, they’re going say what they’re going to say about you anyway. Again, it’s a no-win situation that must be nipped in the bud – tout de suite.
As an example, we had one client who called, emailed and texted us morning, noon and night and literally thought he owned us. I would be giving WordPress trainings and the phone would be beeping in constantly from the same person. Honestly, this went on for months and we never got a moment’s peace. Folks, that’s just NOT alright. Yes, always treat your customers/clients with the utmost respect but remember, respect is a two way street.
I always tell our clients and the many people we give WordPress support to that are not paying clients that if we don’t pick up the phone right away it’s because we are either on the phone with someone else or involved with a project that requires uninterrupted focus. We will call you back as soon as possible. We are all about customer service which includes getting the job done and we can’t do our job if we are on the phone helping one person 24/7 . Boundaries need to be established from the get-go with all people, not just with clients.
Enough is Enough and Say it Right Away
The truth is that no matter what you do for an unpleasable to make them “happy” they will be unhappy about something else, and as soon as money crosses the table with someone like this, they think they own you, so your best defense is to give their money back and do it right away. You need to say ta-ta, bye-bye and syanora even if you’ve invested a bizillion hours on their behalf because it’s simply NOT worth it and chalk it up to another one of those annoying life lessons learned.
Remember, when you are good at what you do, deliver the goods as promised and build up a very satisfied customer base, Social Media and defamatory gossip talk becomes less of a threat because a person attempting to discredit you will be seen for what they are – UNPLEASABLE, and your online comrades will step up to the plate and come to your defense.
Keep a Cool Head No Matter What
No matter how much a person may push your buttons, and believe you me, some will push you to the very edge of the cliff, try to remain as neutral as possible so you can handle the situation with a cool head and your best self. And as they say in marketing 101, “Don’t get hooked into other peoples stuff.” Always be professional, but NEVER allow anyone to tramp all over you or run you with veiled reputation destruction threats.
The Boomerang Effect
A little sage advice – Online warfare tactics never work out for anyone, especially for the one spreading malicious ill-will because what you send out there always comes back to bite you and that’s how the Universe works. Don’t worry about how justice will be served or how it will all play out in the grand schemes of things. Energy sent out attracts like energy back and leave it at that. I call it the boomerang effect.
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