How to Deal with Customers in General.
Today I would like to touch a kind of delicate but unavoidable topic… “How to Deal with customers”, even if the customer is considered a good or bad one. In the cake decorating field, baking field, party planning field, or any other type of business, the customer is the wheel that make the car move. Unfortunately and fortunately, we have all kinds of customer, but a good way of safeguarding us from them is our story policy, rules and regulations.
Some customers are good in recognizing that our work has a price and that they are paying for quality and for skills they don’t posses but we do. Some customers are good customers in recognizing that our work is good but want to try to get it for a lower price than they think we deserve. Other customer just want the whole product or service for right plain free. The United States is a country that is driven mainly in customer satisfaction and good review, with technology being a big part of today’s business many “good customers” have turned into “bad” one. Let me explain.
The good customer that once thought that the skills you provide were a piece of art, now sees it that that skill that you perhaps obtain in pastry school or cake decorating school, etc., now can be learn (or so they think) online through YouTube videos. Now from being a good paying customer now want to learn that same skill and instead of paying now want to charge to have a change to try doing what perhaps a cake decorator has been doing for 20 years or more. Now our “good customer” has turn into our competition (or so they think), but after all that customer is not as bad as the really bad customers.
The bad customers want to place an order, don’t pay for it, and if they do, pay in installments even though you do not allow that, after finally paying (not on time) they use the good and want to return them after being used, why? Simply because they think they can get away with it by treating the vendor with a “bad review”, now that customer has turned into a bad customer that wants to break your business and your hard work.
How to deal with it? Well, dealing with good customer (with bad behavior) and with bad customer (without shame or respect for other’s work) can be different depending on the case. Sometimes, it is easier to provide the customer with a discount if X or X. Both, customer and vendor are happy. Sometimes, the good customer will give up on their expectation to get something for free and will just agree to pay your price.
Now, when dealing with bad customers, is a bit more complex. See, a bad customer will do whatever it takes for the vendor to get a free service, item, etc. Unfortunately, not all customers appreciate our hard work, they don’t see past the “price” they pay, they do not understand all bills we have to pay. My only advise would be that when dealing with bad customers or good customers turning bad, would be to not take it personally, to simply thank them for the bad review (if any) and to wish them well, but most importantly ALWAYS stick to your store policy. If it is stated on your policy NO REFUNDS, then please do not issue refunds of any kinds, it you have an item on sale and your policy states “sold as is or final sale” please stick to that policy.
The truth is that WE ALL are good and bad customers, but seeing it from a vendor’s point of view, good customers can turn into bad if we let them, if we do not respect our own policies. Sometimes the best customer is the bad one that you don’t have to deal with.
Stay truth to yourself and your business. Your skills and time are priceless. They pay for what they don’t know how to do. As customers we pay for what we cannot do, so the same applies to them.
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