Have you ever had that one customer, who… you really wanted to tell what you were really thinking..?
Well, it just happened. But no… of course I didn’t tell her the exact words. I’m a professional after all. Well, I try to be… and luckily today I was in control of that little voice inside my head.
Here’s the story..
A lady in Australia, who will go unnamed of course… joined my Inner Circle membership program. It’s a monthly membership.. Where I send out a USB drive every month with a cool lesson and training loaded on it.
So she joined that.. wait..
I should first say.. This isn’t an attack on her. I couldn’t care less really… I’m telling you this story for the underlying lesson. I’ll explain that quickly after this story.. Because, it’s kind of funny.
She joined the Inner Circle and her 1st USB and other stuff was sent out to her house. A week or so passed and she decides she wants to cancel.. Maybe she just wanted to get the 1st one all along I don’t know.
So this person.. Emails the office and says “something something, Cancel my membership as of today!”
It happens, it’s alright. We’re not going to win everyone over no matter what we do.
Moving along, Mel our awesome support rep in the office..(maybe you’ve had some communication with her in the past..?) Replied to her in the early afternoon that very same day..
So.. what do you think happened the next day..
The next day another email came in from her threatening to bad mouth our company if we don’t reply to her…
She obviously didn’t get our first reply. She either missed it, or it’s in her junk mail folder.
The fact that this person is emailing us, chasing up with us… is not a hassle. My team knows to support everyone as much as possible and as much as they need the support.
To finish off that story.. Mel replied to her again (for the second time) and assured her that her membership has been canceled.. And good bye.
All of that happened in just over 24 hours by the way. So if you don’t want your business to be bad mouthed on Social Media.. Apparently 24 hours is the amount of time you have 🙂
The cancellation wasn’t the problem.
The emails were not a problem.
It was this person’s attitude and the way she is interacting with the world. Maybe she didn’t see our reply which arrived on the same day as she sent her first email.. That’s very possible. But to then threaten the business with bad publicity.. ? (not that’s it’s my business.. Any business. After 24 hours ?)
This is the type of customer who is not going to bring any value to my company. If this is how this person acts after 24 hours of, in her mind ‘not getting a reply’… this is someone I don’t want anywhere near my people.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s within her rights to do so. I can’t stop her. If she feels it’s appropriate.. She’ll go and do it. It’s outside of our control at this stage. And that’s all fine.. I’m not even saying she’s done anything wrong, or needs to improve on anything.. It’s just a experience that I don’t want my company to have again.
So I can’t control her and I’m not interested to… But, I can control if she ever becomes a customer again.
This person’s email address has been banned.. So if she was ever to try and sign up for, or order something, or to join the Inner Circle again.. She’ll get a “sorry we’re sold out” message.
I fired her.
She’s not allowed back in.. even if she is trying to give us money again. She can’t do it. She’s fired.
I understand that in the early days of a business the last thing you might want to do is fire a customer… but there will come a time for you I hope that… firing a customer or a client will actually be good for your business.
You’ll think how much opportunity you waste by dealing with this person, or this client, or business or partner.. And where else could that time be deployed.
Hopefully you’ll realise how much negative energy this customer is injecting into your staff.. And how much it’s affecting THEIR day… and therefore the knock on effect when your stressed out staff are still need to interact with other customers but now they’re already stressed and upset .. and it’s going to show on their face and the way they interact with others… I know it shouldn’t… but is it possible?
When the stress of not having to worry about paying the bills is gone.. You should consider and think about not only attracting the best target market for your business, but also kicking anyone out who slips through the cracks and upsets the whole system.
The customer I’m talking about doesn’t know that they’re fired.. There’s less benefit in pointing that out.. I don’t want to inflame the situation, and I’m sure you wouldn’t either. But one thing is for sure… she can’t get back in unless she uses a different email address… but that’s very unlikely because we deal with businesses and they don’t change email very often.
That’s my story for today. That’s why I fired a customer. And I’d do it all again tomorrow if I needed to.
Hope you enjoyed the story.. I thought I should share it once so maybe you can have a second thought of how you deal with similar situations that might come up in your business.
Until next time my friends, speak with you soon.