Client care isn’t always easy. When putting the customer first means losing money or face, it’s easy to hesitate, or to put blame back onto the customer. To tell them they’re wrong, go elsewhere, or sorry we can’t help you. But before you do, you need to know what you’re getting into.
You Never Know Who’s Talking About Your Business
Recently while in a designers only Facebook group, a well – known interior designer was asking for recommendations on graphic designers. She had had multiple poor experiences with a pricey and popular graphic designer (never receiving merchandise she paid for and being told “this is what you get” despite the designer’s requests to adjust a logo design). So she was looking to change. Other people chimed in and had shared how they too had had a similarly poor experience. And warned others who hadn’t worked with her yet from doing so. So recommendations and referrals for great graphic designers were shared all around. And the original graphic designer was officially put on the naughty list. Or let’s be honest, the black list.
These types of situations happen everyday. The business makes a mistake that’s easy to fix. Often times at minimal cost. In the above situation, it could have been fixed for barely over $100. But, the business digs their heels in and insists that they’re not at fault. Insists that they did what they were supposed to. So the customer needs to move along. Just accept things as they are. They figure, as long as the customer is out of my hair, I’m happy.
Don’t Save a $100 But Lose a $1,000
Oh, how penny wise but pound foolish. You saved $100 by not helping out a customer, but potentially lost out on thousands of dollars because of negative word of mouth. Enough negative word of mouth from enough people, especially influential people, and your business will really start hurting.
So when a customer complains to you, think about it. Really consider the repercussions of not helping them. Will it cost you more to help them, or to not help them? Often times, it will actually cost you more to not help them, via negative reviews. We all know that negative reviews spread far more quickly and more often than positive ones. Unfair, yes, but true. So do be careful.
Now this doesn’t mean that you should let ridiculous customers bully you into basically bankrupting your business just to please them, and to avoid negative reviews. But it does mean that if a usually great customer asks for you to fix a $150 problem, you should probably go ahead and do that, at no cost. Or if a reasonable customer asks you to re-do your designs because they don’t meet their hosting needs (which you thought they did but they disagree), maybe go ahead and do that at no cost. And although it’s incredibly difficult to say, I’m wrong, you’re right, let me pay for the mistake. As much as is financially and business sound, work hard to do just that when it’s necessary.
Consider the Consequences
Think long term. Think of the unknowns. Think through the possible repurcussions of giving a half hearted design to a customer. Think through telling your customer that they just need to accept your designs. Think through telling them that a mistake wasn’t yours, but theirs. Think through telling them that they’ll have to pay for a problem to be fixed. It may seem like a good idea right now, but could prove to be detrimental in the future. So be mindful when making your client care decisions. Because you don’t want a small problem now to start hurting your bottom line later.