That customer who just won’t quit is like a baby who refuses to sleep.
Some customers are tenacious to the point where, if it were legal to smash them in the face with a cricket bat, you’d seriously consider doing it. And if you’ve never had an experience like that, then I think you’re fibbing. Most companies have encountered one at some point.
In paediatric wisdom, if you are near your bub and you put yourself to sleep, then the baby will just go to sleep.
But sometimes that doesn’t work.
Sometimes, they sit up and kick you until you’re bruised.
Sometimes, they crawl over you, putting the weight of all of their 10+ kilos on your neck, making you wonder if they’re actually trying to kill you. Because it sure seems like it.
And sometimes, they’ll stand up and bash the bedhead, while yelping loudly, imagining that they’re having great fun! Meanwhile, your eye is trampled into the back of your head, you’re thinking all kinds of nasty things at the ceiling, and you’re pretending to go to sleep.
When you’ve got a customer who won’t quit, they’re not quite this physical but the emotional impact is often worse.
They’ll email you incessantly.
They’ll point out every tiny error in your content.
They’ll harass you because something wasn’t right, or wasn’t cheap enough, or just wasn’t what they would do dammit.
If the customer you’re dealing with is like this this, it takes every ounce of self-control to breathe, to smile, and to handle the wildly thrashing beast. It’s determined to fling sand in your eyes before devouring you whole, isn’t it? When you get off the phone with this customer, the urge to bellow, faaaaaarrrrrkkkkkkkkkkk at the ceiling is usually reigned in while you stalk through the office hunting the strongest coffee you can find (while desperately hoping nobody wants to exchange a civil word until it’s consumed).
You with me?
Most business coaches will just tell you to fire their a$$.
They’re not worth dealing with, the coaches will say. If they’re that awful, just get rid of them!
Which, you know, is fine. I’ve done stuff like that.
But what if you could turn them around?
What if this customer is actually a gold mine in disguise?
There is a lot of wisdom in the marketplace about turning complainants into loyal customers, and much of it is extremely valuable. It’s true that if you can turn this kraken into a doe-eyed puppy dog that it’ll simply continue to empty its wallet in your general direction.
As Ryan Holiday wrote in The Obstacle is the Way:
‘In every situation, life is asking us a question, and our actions are the answer. Our job is simply to answer well.’
The flailing baby is asking us, How on earth am I going to sleep if I can’t switch myself off, mum? Your answer is to show them how to relax. Sometimes that means massage, song, gentle movement.
The flailing customer is asking us, How on Earth are you going to help me when I have this program running – that won’t switch off! – that says you’re a bastard? Your answer is to shut off your mind, put yourself in his or her position, get to grips with that program, and meet them with their own logic.
This is tricky!
It’s even trickier when you’re using content to do it.
So what do you do?
You take all of these pain points, yours and theirs, and that’s where you begin.
This is the entire premise of my Creating Sticky Customers seminar, which I simply give away. The skill is too important to lock it behind a paywall.
But what I want you to decide is whether or not you’d invest a measly seven dollars in the workbook that will help you get the most out of it.
Turning that mess of poisonous tentacles into the loving, loyal customer you wish they were might be easier than you think. And if it is, then if they spend $14 with you, then you’re already in profit.
x Leticia “customers for life” Mooney