The customer is costing me money

Question: “I have a customer who’s driving me up the wall. She says we’ve installed things in the wrong place, when she decided where they’d go, and continually demands replacements at no cost. What can I do?” Terry

Answer: “Although it’s too late now, from a practical viewpoint you should have had exact details in writing as to what this customer wanted installed, where and how, with them signing off at each stage.

Whatever you have left to do, get instructions in writing so she can’t change her mind again.

We all have difficult customers and some can be a nightmare. You decided to take the financial hit, now you have to manage the emotional one.

Remember there will be reasons for her unreasonableness, none of which will be directed at you (assuming of course that your company did the good job you said you’d done).

There’s nothing you can do about that. What you can do is to analyse what it is that’s driving you up the wall and ask yourself why is it you are letting this happen to you.

It’s a negative destructive energy that you’re expending that should be used more productively.

Is it because you realise you should have got the agreement in writing, or perhaps you’ve got a far more interesting (and lucrative job) that you’re having to postpone. Whatever the reason you have control over how you respond.

By remaining positive then you have some hope that despite her complaints she will recognise the Company’s workmanship and recommend you to someone else. At the very least, clock it up as an expensive lesson in customer care and place a note in a prominent position not to supply this customer again!”

Laura is an organisation development specialist and executive coach with mtc2 ltd and was Highly Commended in the Eastbourne Business Awards Business Person of the Year. To solve your problem email laura@mtc2.co.uk Tweet @WayfinderWoman Names and details have been changed to protect confidentiality.