I know this is a touchy subject, but I have to say it “sometimes, the customer is wrong. Very wrong.” There. I said it. I’m not taking it back. Moving on.
Of course, as a business owner you have to do your best to achieve customer satisfaction, and this is what you teach your employees as well (provided you have them). Giving your customers a great experience, and having them share their experience is the bread and butter of your business. But, what do you do with a client who is clearly in the wrong? Do you suck it up and give them what they want, or do you stand firm on your policies at the expense of a disgruntled customer?
Firstly, you must be sure you document all communication with any client-good and bad. If there becomes an issue that has gone above an easy resolution, you can look back at your documentation to be certain of where you stand. Always be courteous and respectful-yelling back at a client is only going to be more fuel for their hateful rants, and reflects poorly on you as a brand and as a business owner.
Be sure you are timely with responses. If you lollygag even a little, this customer is going to use it against you, which is the last thing you want! Be timely, be available as much as possible, and be certain you are conveying the utmost professionalism.
Lastly, if this client is having a technical issue, or an issue with a return or just needs support, do your best to clear any issues that are within your power. Sometimes, clients are upset over something you can easily rectify. If you can take care of it, or you can send a support person (or put them in touch with a support person), do so as quickly as possible to negate any unfavorable actions.
However, if you’ve done all that you can, and this client is still not happy, you have to ask yourself whether or not you can still help them. If this customer has gotten belligerent, abusive, unreasonable, etc., you have to cut your losses with them and take your chances. You have to tell them you can no longer help them and hope they are able to resolve their issue on their own. Or, you can offer to connect them with another company who may be able to assist them. It’s never OK to allow a customer to personally attack, threaten, or belittle; to expect something you cannot offer, or to expect something outside of the realm or scope of the issue itself.
Yes, it’s important to take care of your customers and support them, however, it’s also important to protect the integrity of your company and your employees. Showing them you stand beside them even when a customer’s issue is unable to be resolved will show them you are a strong leader, with a strong brand.