5 Reasons to Appreciate your Difficult Customers

CustomerThis guest post on customer service is written by Dare Dairo. To write an article for our website, kindly read our Write for Us guideline.

Imagine your first day of opening shop; hopes are high, energy level at the peak, expecting the best of results. And this Customer walks in who could only see all the wrong things you had hoped nobody would notice, and even discovered some you never knew existed. After a most harrowing moment trying desperately to impress him, he left eventually without buying a thing. Worse still, the sizeable crowd of Customers who were waiting were discouraged and also left without buying much.

How would you feel about this customer? Imagine driving past him later that same night, and there he was alone, stranded at the bus stop in the rain, what would you do?

I know many of us would be tempted to splash some muddy water on him. I know a couple of guys who would do a lot less civil things to him with their car. But really, you would have missed a golden opportunity to impress one of the greatest assets of your business. Difficult Customers are good for your business – read my previous post 10 Ways to Leverage Business Growth with your Relationships.

Here are 5 reasons why you should learn to cultivate Difficult Customers in your business;

1. They help you grow.

The most common complaint from difficult Customers is usually that you are not as good as another brand they have been used to. And in truth, that brand may actually be bigger and probably does some things better than you do. To you, that should be good news. When your customers starts measuring your product against bigger brands that have been in business long before you, it means you are now in small business. You should be worried if they don’t.

So, rather than hate such customers you should actually encourage them to compare you against the bigger brands the more. Accept the things that you are truly not getting right yet, in comparison with the big brands. But be quick to draw their attention to those things about your product that the other brands don’t have. Do this more often, and soon, you will start matching up with these other brands. Growth is first, and essentially a function of perception.

2. They give you new ideas.

When next a difficult Customer comes into your shop and start ranting away about all the things that is wrong about your product or business, first, silently thank God in your heart for bringing him your way. Then, get pen and paper, a tape recorder, anything to capture all his complains. And after doing your best to satisfy him, go back into your quiet corner and meditate over all that he has said.

Those complain might actually contain seeds of ideas that could help you better in one or other aspect of your business. I know of some very popular brands that were a reaction to Customer complains. All you might just need to do is probably add a new flavor, a new packaging, just a slight tweak with the original idea. And that just might be your jackpot!

3. They help to keep you focused.

When you started in business, you probably were doing some things that got you your initial success. But somewhere along the line as you strive to improve the bottom line, you may derail from the original plan. You could get caught in competition so much so that your products start to get too complicated for the market. Some customers could prove difficult because they preferred it just the way it used to be.

Understand the basics and unique appeal of your business and keep it constant even as you grow and develop. Don’t confuse your customers. And don’t get irritated by some customers who will blow the alarm whenever you depart from the original plan. Difficult Customers are like the northern star to the ship of your business.

4. They teach you humility.

Looking for seeds of truth in the myriad of complain from difficult customers encourages humility. Focus breeds blindness. Oftentimes, we are too engrossed in our own affairs that we miss certain little vital details that others may see more clearly. Interestingly, even your friends, staff and close associates may also have noticed it but failed to bring it up because they don’t want to embarrass you.

It’s not easy to take an honest look at yourself and your weaknesses, but you can only grow if you’re willing to try – with suggestions from your difficult customers. Difficult Customers are actually your best friend – treat them as such.

5. They help you to improve your problem solving skills.

When you have a more humane attitude towards your difficult customers, you will be more disposed to genuinely find solutions to their complaints which could eventually help you to significantly improve on your service delivery and production processes, which isn’t always easy when you’re feeling sensitive, self-critical, or annoyed with their complains.

Treat your Customers like Kings cos they are the kings of your Business.

Did I miss anything? Please share below!

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Dare Dairo is a freelance writer, media strategist and social worker. With a passion for nourishing young budding entrepreneurs with appropriate perceptual attitude for wealth creation and value engineering to move our beloved nation forward. He is the presenter of Realms of Freedom, a motivational talk show of over five years running on Eko 89.75 FM designed to galvanize more young people to embrace the entrepreneurial solution to nation building and self actualization.
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