Ever had a terrible customer? One that made you feel mistreated, taken advantage of or completely unappreciated. Read on to learn why some customers switch to the dark side and what you can do about it.
Being an entrepreneur, especially in a creative field is HARD and nothing hurts more than customers who are unreasonably demanding or unsatisfied at every turn. The lucky thing is, that some simple communication tips can help you avoid the wrong customers in the first place.
Help the wrong people drop out of your sales process
Think about the ideal people you want to work with..got them in your mind? Okay. Now, make sure every step in your sales process, from the very first website visit to the contract signing, is designed to keep them, and let others go. It’s your job to be selective about who you work with.
This could look like posting a “my prices start at…” on your website. It could look like deleting photos of work that doesn’t match your current style from galleries and Instagram. It could look like a detailed client intake form or an intro call. All of these steps are you ‘interviewing’ the people who want to work with you.
Set very clear expectations
99.99% of bad customer interactions happen when there is a mismatch between what the customer expects to happen and what you (the business) expects to deliver. The solution, state what going to happen at every turn.
Remember that not everyone has the same learning styles so for some, it’s easy to read an email for others not. Think about using different types of communication with your client to reiterate important info. Can you have a phone call? Use intro videos or graphics to communicate?
If you have repeated bad interactions with customers, I would examine your process to see where there may be expectation mismatches.
Think about some great interactions you’ve had as a customer. One of the things that make them great is that you know exactly what’s going to happen every step of the way. That’s what overcommunication looks like. It’s not emailing them every moment. It is making sure they understand the next step AND know when that next step is going to happen.
People only absorb about 15% of words they read online so make your communications with your client clear and redundant. It’s okay reiterate things like what exactly you’ll be delivering, when people need to arrive or the date when you’ll deliver your work over and over again.
Make it easy and fun
This is maybe the most important part. It gets really easy to write lengthy emails telling customers all the things they need to do or remember. But that’s where you need to remember that this person is your customer. They’re not the enemy and they’re hiring you to make this experience simple, easy and fun.