Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 23

Thread: I'm so angry with a client

  1. #1
    Platinum Member pmbguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    PMB
    Posts
    2,094
    Thanks
    310
    Thanked 254 Times in 230 Posts

    I'm so angry with a client

    I quoted him on a repair, he accepted the quote, we did the repair, machine worked perfectly, client happy. I always guarantee work done.

    2 weeks later, the client had a power surge which blew components in their machine, rendering it economically irreparable.

    The work I had done and the power surge are totally unrelated. Its like having your brakes repaired in your car then the engine blows 2 weeks later in Brakpan, totally unrelated.

    My client phoned me this morning in a rage.
    “I paid you xxxx for my machine and now you telling me its f!!t.........++++++++++!+++++++++++!++!!”

    I spoke calmly and explained to him that the repair and the subsequent power surge are unrelated.
    But he still can’t get it, or he is trying his luck. I am used to dealing with such issues, but this guy! ...

    I was lucky to have a great mentor and ex boss who taught me everything he knows about dealing with clients. He taught me that the most important thing in this business is to make the client happy no matter what, even when it seems wrong. He would often call me in to put out a fire and encouraged me to even lose money on a specific client to make the client happy, even when sometimes the client is trying his luck. His reasoning behind losing money on a client, to keep them happy, is that retaining that specific client in the long run will produce a profit. Also, retaining the “bad” client will help retain his current and future social and professional network.
    My ex boss used to say: “An unhappy client is an opportunity to retain a client for life”
    I do the same in my business as my ex boss did in his. I will bend backwards and sideways to retain business.

    Sorry, I know this sounds obvious but you will be surprised how many businesses don’t make a point, to make sure, a client is totally happy.

    So what am I going to do with this guy?
    Well, I am going to repair his machine at a loss, with a smile on my face. Hopefully I will gain in the long run.
    It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. – Charles Darwin

  2. #2
    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    5,089
    Thanks
    336
    Thanked 808 Times in 642 Posts
    Well done.
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
    ~GS Elevator

  3. #3
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Durban, South Africa
    Posts
    20,973
    Thanks
    3,055
    Thanked 2,462 Times in 2,067 Posts
    Blog Entries
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by pmbguy View Post
    But he still can’t get it, or he is trying his luck.
    There's no use debating the issue while the client is hot under the collar. My experience is a call to the client the next morning (about 8.30 a.m.) can often work wonders.

    If they're trying their luck, they'll stick to their guns - in which case firing the client is worth serious consideration.
    If they were just upset by their bad luck - a discount in sympathy for their misfortune can go a very long way.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  4. Thanks given for this post:

    pmbguy (30-Apr-13)

  5. #4
    Platinum Member sterne.law@gmail.com's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Durban
    Posts
    1,328
    Thanks
    38
    Thanked 561 Times in 410 Posts
    Blog Entries
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    There's no use debating the issue while the client is hot under the collar. My experience is a call to the client the next morning (about 8.30 a.m.) can often work wonders.

    If they're trying their luck, they'll stick to their guns - in which case firing the client is worth serious consideration.
    If they were just upset by their bad luck - a discount in sympathy for their misfortune can go a very long way.
    I agree with phoning the next day, it allows both parties to steady the nerves.
    I also believe that politely pointing out that I am not wrong BUT because I appreciate you I can help you as follows.... is important
    I think it is imperative that the client knows you are helping and bending over backwards, many times, especially if they think its their right, they miss the point of the gesture or excellent service.
    Last edited by sterne.law@gmail.com; 30-Apr-13 at 01:16 PM. Reason: too many typo's
    Anthony Sterne

    www.acumenholdings.co.za
    DISCLAIMER The above is merely a comment in discussion form and an open public arena. It does not constitute a legal opinion or professional advice in any manner or form.

  6. Thank given for this post:

    Dave A (30-Apr-13), pmbguy (30-Apr-13)

  7. #5
    Moderator IanF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Jhb
    Posts
    2,615
    Thanks
    191
    Thanked 520 Times in 398 Posts
    PMB I would of told him where to get off.
    My experience is once the some clients think they can cost you money then they do that and have no respect for you. It is easier to let them go to your competitor.
    The trick is to know which ones are reasonable and which try it on the whole time.
    Good Luck.
    PS Both attitudes work just see which one is best for your business.
    Only stress when you can change the outcome!

  8. Thanks given for this post:

    pmbguy (30-Apr-13)

  9. #6
    Platinum Member pmbguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    PMB
    Posts
    2,094
    Thanks
    310
    Thanked 254 Times in 230 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    There's no use debating the issue while the client is hot under the collar. My experience is a call to the client the next morning (about 8.30 a.m.) can often work wonders.

    If they're trying their luck, they'll stick to their guns - in which case firing the client is worth serious consideration.
    If they were just upset by their bad luck - a discount in sympathy for their misfortune can go a very long way.
    The client is not very tech’y, so that’s one half of the issue.

    I will be in touch with him, I have met him before in normal circumstances with regard to business. Not a bad guy. I retract the notion that he might be “trying his luck”, more of an expression with regard to this type situation.

    You get the once a year guy trying his luck though...I nip it in the bud with tact.


    Through humility and reason combined with good timing and maybe humour, I am sure he will come around. Like you said Dave, a discount for future...

    If he does not, I will go ahead and repair to keep the client happy.
    It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. – Charles Darwin

  10. Thanks given for this post:

    Blurock (30-Apr-13)

  11. #7
    Platinum Member Mike C's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Durban
    Posts
    2,240
    Thanks
    207
    Thanked 310 Times in 268 Posts
    The other aspect of an unhappy client is that you don't know how many other "potential" clients they are going to talk to about their unhappy experience. They bad mouth your attitude and your product, and your service ... and you will never know the potential loss involved.

    I think that you are a man among men pmbguy. Well done.
    An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don't. - Anatole France

  12. Thanks given for this post:

    pmbguy (30-Apr-13)

  13. #8
    Platinum Member desA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    South East Asia
    Posts
    1,023
    Thanks
    512
    Thanked 126 Times in 99 Posts
    I'm amazed at the chances some people take in South Africa. Some of them are just plain thick, as well as thick-skinned! Many are like kids. Many are simply abusive jerks.

    I'd imagine that after you have explained the matter carefully & thoughtfully to your client, that he would value your technical expertise & see reason. If, you then, offer to assist in a small way, via added value, or just being nice - then you will be a star.

    If he does not accept this & your kind offer - then he is an abusive jerk, well worth passing to the opposition. Send him to hell in such a way that he enjoys the journey.
    In search of South African Technology Nuggets(R), for sale & trading in South East Asia.

  14. #9
    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Durban
    Posts
    3,434
    Thanks
    660
    Thanked 765 Times in 630 Posts
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by pmbguy View Post
    The client is not very tech’y, so that’s one half of the issue.

    I will be in touch with him, I have met him before in normal circumstances with regard to business. Not a bad guy. I retract the notion that he might be “trying his luck”, more of an expression with regard to this type situation.
    I admire your attitude and I do wish more people were so generous. Happy clients is what business is about. Why? Because people talk. You are investing in your future, keep it up.

    PS. After doing the repair, make a follow up visit and then explain to him the difference in a power surge and the original repair.
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

  15. Thanks given for this post:

    pmbguy (30-Apr-13)

  16. #10
    Diamond Member Vanash Naick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    lenasia
    Posts
    3,281
    Thanks
    849
    Thanked 693 Times in 607 Posts
    Blog Entries
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by pmbguy View Post
    I quoted him on a repair, he accepted the quote, we did the repair, machine worked perfectly, client happy. I always guarantee work done.

    2 weeks later, the client had a power surge which blew components in their machine, rendering it economically irreparable.

    The work I had done and the power surge are totally unrelated. Its like having your brakes repaired in your car then the engine blows 2 weeks later in Brakpan, totally unrelated.

    My client phoned me this morning in a rage.
    “I paid you xxxx for my machine and now you telling me its f!!t.........++++++++++!+++++++++++!++!!”

    I spoke calmly and explained to him that the repair and the subsequent power surge are unrelated.
    But he still can’t get it, or he is trying his luck. I am used to dealing with such issues, but this guy! ...

    I was lucky to have a great mentor and ex boss who taught me everything he knows about dealing with clients. He taught me that the most important thing in this business is to make the client happy no matter what, even when it seems wrong. He would often call me in to put out a fire and encouraged me to even lose money on a specific client to make the client happy, even when sometimes the client is trying his luck. His reasoning behind losing money on a client, to keep them happy, is that retaining that specific client in the long run will produce a profit. Also, retaining the “bad” client will help retain his current and future social and professional network.
    My ex boss used to say: “An unhappy client is an opportunity to retain a client for life”
    I do the same in my business as my ex boss did in his. I will bend backwards and sideways to retain business.

    Sorry, I know this sounds obvious but you will be surprised how many businesses don’t make a point, to make sure, a client is totally happy.

    So what am I going to do with this guy?
    Well, I am going to repair his machine at a loss, with a smile on my face. Hopefully I will gain in the long run.
    Excellent customer service attitude! Even though in this case there is no causal connection between your repairs and the power surge which cause the damage. You actually were not obliged at all to do the repair for free at your cost, time, money and labour. You have however won the heart and mind of this customer and this customer will speak well of you to others. I do hope however that those he/she speaks to don’t expect similar free service!

    “The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.” Karl Marx
    vanash.naick@gmail.com
    TFSA Disclaimer
    Local Music with a grassroots touch


Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. [Article] Why You Won't Be My Next SEO Client
    By Mark Atkinson in forum Business Online Forum
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 25-Feb-13, 07:29 AM
  2. [Question] Non-paying client - What do I do?
    By Perform Computers in forum General Business Forum
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 07-Jul-12, 08:35 AM
  3. Litigation Help against a client
    By Cat in forum General Business Forum
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-Sep-11, 11:28 PM
  4. At my wit's end... What to do about shocking client?
    By Mark Atkinson in forum General Business Forum
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 26-Jul-11, 09:30 PM

Did you like this article? Share it with your favourite social network.

Did you like this article? Share it with your favourite social network.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •