A business is nothing without its customers. Without them, it’s not possible to generate income by selling the products or services they have to offer.
The customer relationship extends beyond simply bringing in money. By accounting for their needs and preferences, a company can take its development to new heights. Customers, whether it’s through word of mouth or posting online reviews, are also a key component of any marketing campaign.
There’s just one problem. Customers are not always happy. Customers are not always responsive. In fact, your customers can cause you a lot of headaches.
Various challenging customer scenarios can crop up when running your business. However, it is essential you know how to overcome these challenges successfully. This guide will explain how to effectively resolve five of the biggest customer scenario challenges.
Challenge #1: A customer is overly emotional
Even if you haven’t been in business for long, you will already know that certain customers have a habit of being overly emotional. They could be upset when they feel wronged, for instance, or they might have encountered an issue they want to fix immediately.
An emotional customer can be difficult to handle. This is particularly the case if they’re kicking up a fuss in your store and getting the attention of other shoppers. If not dealt with correctly, wave goodbye to this customer.
The way you communicate with an emotional customer makes all the difference. A calm, understanding approach – one that acknowledges their thoughts and feelings – is a necessity. Remember that an emotional customer isn’t necessarily rude or disrespectful. An apology, combined with the reassurance you will try your best to solve their issue, can keep them on board with your business.
Challenge #2: A customer isn’t paying their invoice
Some businesses operate with an invoice system, where clients will pay what they owe on their own time. The issue is that, on certain occasions, customers won’t be timely with their payments. While delaying payment until the last day of their agreement terms is bad enough, they could even go beyond this – and you have to chase them for the money you deserve.
All of this could place a serious strain on your company’s cash flow. When money isn’t coming in for the products and services you supply, there’s a struggle to pay your bills and continue to function as normal.
You can take an active approach in contacting customers to alert them about their unpaid invoices, and this may be followed up with a stern warning – including how you could take legal action – if they continue to ignore your messages.
One of the more effective approaches is to use invoice financing. This is where you receive a large portion of the invoice value from a specialist lender, with the rest of the invoice’s value passed to you when its paid, less the fee. When working with a company like fundinvoice.co.uk to find the best invoice financing company, you can secure the best rates and funding for your needs. The money is typically sent fast, and there are no worries about being rejected – the invoice value is used as collateral.
Challenge #3: A customer wants a problem fixed for free
Imagine a situation where a customer demands their problem is fixed for free. While you wouldn’t have an issue doing this if you were at fault, it’s a different story when you have no accountability for their problem. Yet again, the wrong approach can quickly sour the customer relationship.
Giving away things for free without anything in return is not done by successful businesses. So, while you want to appease the disgruntled customer, you can only go so far. Acknowledge their emotions, and explain to them you are willing to assist, but only to the point where it is your responsibility.
Challenge #4: A customer aims to damage your brand
Bad reviews, complaints across social media, even threats of legal action – there are various ways a customer can attempt to damage your brand. If you gather too many negative comments, it could see potential customers deciding to give your business a swerve.
It is easy to lash out when someone is attempting to damage your livelihood. However, a calm and considerate approach is always necessary. This is especially the case if your response is playing out in public. You might not be able to convince the disgruntled party to reconsider your business, but it can shine a positive light on how you operate.
Others could see your reply to a negative review, for example. If this is done with professionalism, grace, and openness, you can end up looking good despite the initial negativity.
Challenge #5: A change that can harm the perception of your business
Sometimes, a challenging scenario doesn’t come directly from the customer. It can be a result of a change that is made by your business. This change could be everything from altering the ingredients in a food product to increasing the price of a video streaming service.
When a change is made the wrong way, it can have an instant negative impact on your relationship with the customer. This is the case if a change is instantly sprung on your customers without any warning. Feelings of anger and confusion are common – and that generally leads to a major drop in the public perception of your business.
Unless it’s overtly positive from the customer’s point of view, it is hard for a change to be positively received. For example, customers won’t be happy if they have to pay more for something they already receive – no matter how you spin it. However, there are ways to mitigate the damage.
Telling customers far in advance is an important step to take. Explaining why your business has made the decision to change is also helpful, as is offering different options if a customer feels the need to change their arrangement with your company. Plus, while you never want to lose a customer, you should make it easy for them to opt out if they’re receiving a frequent product/service.
If all this is not enough, in this article, you can also read some smart tips to improve your customer experience.