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View Full Version : Responding to an unhappy customer


EstherL
01-02-2012, 02:29 PM
Hello all. I am thankful I've never had this situation before. But after 5 years of doing my business, I have one customer who is quite unhappy. I had followed up with her after she got her first product order, and when we spoke she was happy and very pleased. The next month I saw that she ordered right away at the beginning of the month, and I called her about half-way through the month to check in. I got her voicemail but left a message and did not hear back. Near the end of the month I saw that she had requested to cancel her account with our company, so I called again to check in and let her know that I would be happy to assist with any questions or concerns she had about the products or cancelling. Didn't hear anything back. She cancelled within a week, and I followed up with an email stating that I was sorry to see that she had cancelled and that I would love to chat and find out what her concerns were. She gave me a time I could call and when I did, she was not there. I sent a hand-written thank you note and told her I appreciated her business, and I also mentioned that I always appreciate feedback from someone as to why they decided to cancel their account.

Well, a few weeks later (right before Christmas no less), I got a very pointed message on FB from her describing her feedback. Let's just say it was one of the most accusatory messages I've ever received, and I was quite taken aback. She basically was unhappy with many of the products (but yet never told me any of this - if she had I could have helped her get a refund right away) and stated that I "sugarcoated" the entire company, etc. But the thing that hurt the most was that she stated that I am very aggressive, that I need to learn how to separate my business and personal life, and that she thinks that I only got to know her so that she would get into my business.

I felt quite hurt but I knew I could not respond in kind. I felt defensive and I knew that I really had done nothing wrong. I work very hard at balancing my business and personal life and in reality, I only work my business about 7-10 hours per week. (The rest of the time I'm a stay at home mom or working my PT job outside the house). I also attended a playgroup with her several times and never said anything about my business to anyone in the playgroup. The reason I approached her, after getting to know her, was because she expressed concerns about finances and wishing there was a way to afford sending her kids to private school. When I approach someone about my business, I try to focus on how it can benefit THEM and I really felt that my business might be a good match for her. She viewed the overview, and then she and her husband listened together again. They decided to join after taking a day or 2 to think it over. I never push anyone to make a decision on the spot.

Anyway, when I responded to her, I did not say any of that above - I basically just said that I was sorry she had a negative experience and that I was happy to help her get a refund for the products she was dissatisfied with.

Sorry to be so long-winded! My question is: Have you ever had to deal with something similar? And if so, would you have done anything differently?

Thanks!


Cornelius
01-02-2012, 03:47 PM
Art Williams: "All you can do is all you can do,, All you can do is enough".. IMO that's one of the draw backs with doing business on social websites people can say what they want and the masses will basically only remember the drama and not the offer of help.. Myself I keep my FB page separate from my business..That's just me..

As for how you handled it I feel you did it right. I have run into a couple of people like that but you can't please everyone. It's the business world. It won't be the last time something like that happens.. Just move on. If you feel you treated the person right and you did all that you feel you can do let it go.

Jflats
01-02-2012, 04:58 PM
Thanks for sharing your experience. I've never personally dealt with anything like that, but I believe you handled it correctly. In business you will always have unhappy customers. The fact that you went 5 years before you encountered one is quite impressive. Just keep doing what you are doing and understand that you can't make everyone happy. You can have the greatest product in the world and there will always be a few people that don't care for it. It's just the way things are.


EstherL
01-02-2012, 08:17 PM
Thank you both for your responses. I do agree that sometimes we just cannot please everyone. I would not say that this is the first time I had a situation to resolve with a customer - but every other time, I have been able to resolve it and feel good about it. This time, I feel that there was damage to the relationship, but I don't know how I could have prevented it.

Anyway, moving on! I can't control what other people do - only what I do myself.