Do you have to deal with some really “difficult customers” ?
The first question you should ask is “why is this customer being difficult ?”
Most customers are “difficult” because they are not getting what they want
in terms of product quality or delivery.
So here are some tips for Managing those customers:-
1) Understand what the customer wants – EXACTLY. Get them to spell it out in detail in a product spec.
2) Ensure that your product matches the customer spec.
3) If you hit problems which affect customer delivery or quality you need to be pro-active by:-
a) Keeping the customer informed – don’t take the ostrich approach & bury your head in the sand – arrange a regular conference call on a regular basis until any issues are resolved.
b) What is the contingency ? – is there any alternative you can offer the
customer until you resolve the issue.
c) Give them a timing plan detailing all activities associated with fixing
the problem – and keep it up to date.
d) Don’t bullshit the customer – maintain integrity by being open & honest,even if it feels painful doing so.
Taking a pro-active approach to managing customer expectations will pay off
in the long run as they realise that everyone has problems & the above approach demonstrates you are going the extra mile to solve their issues.
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