By Mr Retail
Today we are going to talk about our clients. To put it bluntly, they are tired, aggravated, and have shorter fuses. And that may be a good day……
In our store, we have had more negative reviews and unruly clients in the last four months than we’ve had in over a decade.
I have called out two clients this year and that typically happens once every five years or so. On one occasion the client apologized and ended up leaving us a glowing review. The other time, not so much.
One customer actually accused me of falsifying documents. I completely lost it and told him to leave and never come back, telling him I couldn’t believe he could ever think we would do that. He was the same guy that came back later, apologized, and left us a glowing review.
In times like these, a typical day as a store owner may involve significant time spent dialing for products to close or fulfill a sale in the pipeline. Then we have to deal with employees or bosses that are experiencing their own set of challenges. And now we have to deal with clients that will leave a bad review if they don’t like our haircuts. How much more of this can we take?
Given the current climate, we have changed our strategy. Until a client gets unruly, we allow them to vent. We assume, going into every conversation, that we need to be more gentle than normal and have a thicker skin at the same time. We need to be harder to offend and 100 percent focused on the outcome; making a sale.
Now, I will tell you one thing; I think there is a point where you have to stand your ground if a client is being completely unreasonable, as we did in the case above. But for me, I’m trying to be focused on being around in 2 years after this mess is over. Or maybe 3-5 years after our supply chain normalizes. If I allow myself to get caught up in the moment, I instantly lose the battle.
For the sake of yourself, your family, your employees, and your business, if your blood pressure starts to build, quickly excuse yourself for a bathroom break and calm down before you say something you will regret. Our industry needs you. I promise.
About Mr Retail
Mr Retail offers opinions and information on car audio retailing for CEoutlook. He wishes to remain anonymous. He has owned a retail store in this country for over 20 years now. Mr Retail loves what he does and loves the 12 volt industry and is happy to share his hard won expertise.